But God is not finished yet. It takes a Master Artist to turn our mess into a master piece again. He does this by entering the canvass of his artwork. The Creator, taking the form of his creation. God knew that to deal with the problem he must attack the root. He must change the heart.
How is a heart moved? We are usually moved by experiencing something extreme. Remember that time when you were moved by a very powerful performance of an actor or actress in a movie? Or an excellent song by an artist or that beautiful face that made your heart skip. You might recall a very kind and excellent teacher or a sweet, serving boyfriend or a sacrificial parent.
Inversely, when we hear of an abuse done, when we see first hand injustice happen, when we are exposed to violence and gore our hearts are also moved. Some of us, we grew up with abusive parents, crazy ex-es and people who took advantage of us. Those bad experiences are sometimes enough to change us.
Our hearts are moved by extreme good or evil, beauty and ugliness, glory and dread. Our hearts are changed when those extremes happened to us.
To change the hearts of God’s creation, they need to be exposed in these extremes, but how?
The Messiah is the much awaited King that the nation of Israel is waiting to have. This King is from God and would bring God’s Kingdom here on earth. There were so many assumptions on how the Messiah would bring God’s rule. They were thinking of an all out revolution and usurpation against the worldly kings, or perhaps immediate judgment to the unrighteous, evil people, toppling down the abusive political powers that oppress them or maybe elevate the people of God to power. Whatever it is, they were thinking of something monumental. To their surprise, the Messiah King came almost anonymously.
This Messiah came announcing that the Kingdom has come, but instead of pulling out swords he was stretching out his hands to care. Instead of rising up to power, he was kneeling down to serve. Instead of influencing people to serve him, he went around ministering, helping, teaching and caring for the weak and the oppressed. His words, teachings and actions were all counter cultural, profound and yet….glorious. His life was a canvass of extreme beauty, one that has a special tug in our hearts.
But it was not just his life, service and teaching that is beautiful. Even more amazingly it was his death. The alleged Messiah surprised everyone by allowing himself to be unjustly executed in one of the most barbarous way: CRUCIFIXION. The cross has been a symbol of death, violence and gore. A constant reminder that the Roman empire stands as the one in control. There is nothing good from the cross. Jesus was flogged, beaten and crucified. When he was hanging on the cross, there was nothing magnificent in him…it was just ugly. And we did this to him.
That is what the cross came to be, that is how the Messiah turned the mess around. Not by running away from the darkness, but by letting it overwhelm him. When we look at the cross, we see the apex of our evil and injustice. This is where God poured his righteous anger to us, this is where the penultimate effect of sin and Satan met. The cross is hideous.
And yet, from the same cross came the most glorious kind of love. A love that is sacrificial, a love that is undeserving. Our hearts are moved when we see that he did this for us and that he did this to show God’s never ending love for us. It shows that God did came and made a way for us to be restored back to him. The symbol of hopelessness that the cross was flipped to a symbol of hope. There is no one too far that God cannot love, there is no sin too great that God’s grace cannot overcome. The cross after Jesus’ crucifixion has been turned to a symbol of love, hope and joy. The joy because God came and God loved us.
The cross of Christ is where our sins were paid. The cross of Christ is where our status as enemies of God were changed to sons and daughters. On the cross, unbelievable evil and unexplainable love and goodness met and we are confronted. We are changed.
As glorious and dreadful the cross is, it is not the death of the Messiah that shocked the world. There is nothing spectacular in dying. Dying is normal. It is what happened on the third day that started a revolution. Jesus rose from the dead. Dying is normal, resurrecting is not.
Read the first couple of articles about this topic here:
The Master Artist – http://daveestrera.com/the-master-artist/
The Masterpiece – http://daveestrera.com/the-masterpiece/
The Mess – http://daveestrera.com/the-mess-we-made/