Monday, October 4, 2010

The carpenter

Consider how we all sometimes do things that we know are going to end badly. Like I know I’m going to get a stomach ache if I eat popcorn, but I do it anyway. Like you know if you see that guy you once loved that he’s going to pull at your heart strings and bring you down emotionally, but you do nothing to avoid him, walk toward him with your eyes wide open. Maybe you want to feel the hurt. Maybe heartache is the closest thing you have to love.

What if you knew every detail of your life that has yet to unfold? What if you knew that you were headed for tragedy or a painful outcome? Would you continue to move forward, knowing that you were walking off a cliff?

Jesus knew. He knew every detail of his life that was about to unfold. He learned carpentry from Joseph, his earthly father. I read somewhere that it was quite possible that Jesus and Joseph did carpentry work for the Romans who ruled Jerusalem at the time, that Jesus and Joseph built crosses for the Romans to use for executions. So it’s possible that Jesus built the cross upon which he was crucified.

I am stunned by this thought—that with his own hands Jesus built the cross where He would give his life. Perhaps others were killed on the cross as well, thieves and murderers whose blood was mingled with his blood. And Jesus built the cross with full knowledge of the will of God. This is more than passive acceptance of the will of God. This is active participation in God’s will, fully embracing it. It makes me cry to think about it. To think of a young man building a cross, aware of the will of God, knowing his fate, yet moving forward with courage and conviction. Simply amazing.

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