There is so much noise. Do you hear it?
A pulling like the moon on the tide, darkly scooting across the earth. An undercurrent of intolerance for those who love Christ, who love God. More and more there is a cultural acceptance to bash them. And at Easter time, a growling and blatant disrespect for Yeshua – Jesus – and his lifework and ministry.
Never in history has a single King elicited such passion – both adoration and loathing.
But then, never in history has a single King come to redeem not only his own subjects, but the ones who mock him.
And mock him, they have. Internet memes, social media, and other venues for popular culture may be the latest vehicles for this derision, but on this Good Friday, we mark the day of the Crown of Thorns. We mark the event in which his contemporaries intended to make a parody of him, affixing a sign to the cross that read, “King of the Jews.” The event in which an innocent man was whipped and nailed to that cross, his body in ribbons, so that he could die a sinner’s death to bridge the gap for sinners to God.
His dying retort? Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.
And now, more than 2,000 years later, why such vitriol still spewed in his direction? Why does the very idea upset this generation so … that there is a God, and that he so adores his creation that he sent his very own Son – his flesh and blood – to die for us and draw us near while we were still sinners?
Because, in this fallen world, Jesus and his resurrection are offensive.
It offends humankind that they might require atonement. It annoys them that their deeds might be construed as “sin” at all! The natural within us wills to live bound by appetites they feel justified in satisfying.
The same culture of entitlement that parlays that we are all entitled to all the good things in life, also tells us we are entitled to the not-so-good things…self-satisfaction at all costs. The world and everyone in it? Yours for the taking. It is owed to you.
Jesus offends people because – at the end of the day – they don’t believe they need any redemption at all. Which is nothing new, of course, as evidenced by the day of the Crown of Thorns.
We live in a time in which the credibility of all things mystical and paranormal are not questioned, but all things holy and divine (and by the way, plenty mystical) are treated with disdain. Like resurrection. Like eternal life.
So much noise.
I am not offended by Christ. You see, the stakes were just too high. I’ve seen in my own life that he not only rose from the tomb, but set me free from one as well. I’m not willing to bargain on this fallen world being my oyster. I’ve seen what my appetites can do. I am hungry for much more than this meager life, and living in this skin … depending on the turning of the tides – the lucks.
The mockery is not the only noise, of course. As the tide turns on the phases of discontent this Holy Week, and the enemy ups the ante in popular culture – the noise – you can hear the rolling rejoicing from believers all over the world that the grave holds no power at all!
Can you hear it?
With no cultural constraints, it will undulate forever, just as it has for 2,000-plus years.
It roars like the sea in the lives of those who follow Christ. Just under the surface (but deeper and more authentic than anything that has ever resonated in popular culture) the thunder rises, drowning out the drums of denial and mockery for the Savior.
Forgive them Father. They know not what they do.
Yeshua, KING OF KINGS!
It is finished.
It sounds like an enormous stone being rolled away from crypt, grinding and roaring and echoing from the empty chamber. It sounds like life.
It sounds like Easter.