Posted by: pmarkrobb | March 29, 2013

Separation

A scale does not exist which could truly measure the weight of this day.  With the passing of each hour and event, the day grew increasingly dark and grim.  That darkness found its crescendo as midday tolled and our Savior continued to hang on the cross.  The dawn of the darkest three-hour period in human history broke and something unprecedented and indescribably profound occurred.  You can draw arrows both at noon that day extending in the direction of eternity past, and from the moment of Christ’s death through today and into eternity future and would never intersect with this thing again.  That “thing”, is Separation.  Pause a few moments.  Read that word again, and allow it to echo in the depths of your being … Separation.

Why do I capitalize it?  Because as God the Son hung on the cross for three hours, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit were sacredly and physically separated from Him.  Does your soul feel the weight of that truth?  Does it move you when you read it?  Can you now begin to join Jesus in the garden when He cries out, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 (HCSB)?

In my observance of Lent and the intensified focus on Jesus’ final week, I have come to believe that Separation is the cup Jesus speaks of as he cries out to his Father.  In both being fully God and fully man, I believe Jesus is fully aware of the physical and emotional brutality He would experience on the cross road and in bearing all our sins.  It is something I cannot even begin to comprehend.  Yet as cruel and agonizing as He knows it would be, it was NOTHING compared to the pain of Separation.

God chose it, and Jesus endured it … for us.  It was the only way.

This truth of Separation became very personal for me this year.  Last week, a day before I began writing today’s post, tragedy struck a personal friend.  At 8:15am last Thursday, my friend’s 8th grade son took his own life at school.  My heart sank when I received the news.  How could this have happened?!  How could a mother receive a call at her desk, on an otherwise normal Thursday, which carried such tragic news?!  My thoughts remained very much with her, but also naturally wandered to my own sons.  I wanted to drive to school, run into class and throw my arms around them.  My mind could not wrap around the reality of not being able to look into their faces and reach out and touch their hand.  I was devastated for my friend, and it shook me for the remainder of the day.

As I sat silent in thought later that evening, a few words began to echo in my mind and resonate in my soul … “Jesus knows my grief.”  I began to process the truth that I have a Savior that has experienced my sufferings in a fully human way.  And then it hit me.  In that unprecedented and indescribably profound three hours, the Trinity, for the first and only time, entered into the very specific grief of my friend.  Separation.

This story hurts, and is intensely personal, but it is regrettably far from unique.  Our lives and our world are broken and hurting.  And today, on the remembrance of the final Friday of Jesus’ earthly life, we desperately need the hope that this day gifts and points toward.  Jesus bore on the cross the full weight of all sins, for all time … praise God!  But please also don’t miss the truth and hope that Jesus has experienced, in a fully human way, your temptations, your pain, your grief, and your suffering.

The punctuation on this week, and in our lives, is not in the shape of a cross, but rather of a round stone rolled away from the mouth of an empty tomb!

We must travel into and through today’s profound darkness … but take hope.  The dawn has not had its final say yet!

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