The earth stood still as the final ring of thunder finished echoing off the far hills. The dark clouds loomed overhead, and silence filled the land. She stood, brimming with mourning, but also overflowing in glorious wonder. The universe paused around her while she stared up at her friend’s lifeless body hung high upon the tree. The mocking, “here stands your King,” continued to pinball around her mind. Oh, how her heart hurt for what they did not see. There was something incredible breathtaking about the scene before her, and she couldn’t help but weep for what the world was missing in this Man. She already knew He was true to His word. She knew, but yet she was drawn again and again to this moment in time, when all of creation caught their breath and let forth a roar, for there stood their King. The quivering of the earth shook her back to Calvary. She took another step and found herself at His feet. She hardly noticed the steady dripping of blood making its way down the hill, washing away the impurities of the land. All she could see was His face, mangled and torn past the point of being recognized, and yet what shone through the scars, through the blood, sweat, and tears, was a love so great, a love so selfless, a love so radiant, and a love so pure that the world did not know what to do with it. The tears streamed as she fell to her knees, overwhelmed by His Holiness. For you see, Holiness and Love are so closely interwoven, that to understand the fullness of one, you must be willing to see the depth of the other. She couldn’t help but find this moment of agony and suffering beyond beautiful, and her heart was fluttering with the excitement of what her Holy Savior just did for her. She lifted her eyes to meet the fallen face of her Beloved, and as she did, she couldn’t feel more proud of what He had just done, more in awe of His Greatness, and more in love with His nature. For there stood her King.
I’m blown away constantly by the Holiness of Jesus. Recently, I spent a few hours back and forth voice texting a dear friend. My heart was lifted by her grace and spirit, but more so by her understanding of the greatness of our King. Message after message we both kept saying, “oh my word!! I agree with everything you just said. God is so good,” and then we would go into another long message about what He has been teaching us recently and why we adore Him. I just love good conversations with like minded people, and I love having technology to stay in touch even when life makes it too busy to sit down together some weeks. I was reminded again, through this conversation, just how Holy Jesus is. I found myself telling her how I have been stuck on His Holiness for months now. As it came out of my mouth, I felt the Lord whisper, “I never want you to be “unstuck” on my Holiness.” And man, that hit home. I want to spend all of my days stuck on the cross, stuck on the revelation of His beauty, stuck on His mercy, and stuck on His greatness. I don’t ever want to allow that revelation to pass by without a second glance, without complete understanding of it’s depth. We can say we know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and we can say that He paid our ransom, but man, it is so different to simply say we understand that and to actually bask in the meaning of it. About two years ago, I kept hearing the phrase, “there’s a revelation of the cross you haven’t gotten yet,” over and over again. I was asking God for this revelation, for an understanding of what He was trying to teach me, and now, two years later, I am beyond convinced that I will always have a revelation of the cross I haven’t gotten yet. No matter how much I know and understand, there is always more to grasp. There is always more to understand. Today, I get it to a far greater depth than I did two years back, but praise God I don’t know it all. I will spend my days continuing to see His Holiness in new ways, continuing to understand Calvary in greater depth, and continuously seeing Him with new eyes, “from glory to glory.” I will spend my days getting to know the man on the cross, for there stood my King.
She heard the whispers, felt the murmurs, and tried to ignore the gossip. “Psh. I thought He said He was here to save.” “King of the Jews. Ha! King of nothing.” “He died. How could He save anyone if He couldn’t even save Himself?” They didn’t get it, and yet she didn’t have answers. All she knew was that she loved Him and that she trusted Him. His body now lay in a tomb, set away to be forgotten, and yet she could not bring herself to forget. His words continued to ring through her mind, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life.” She didn’t know much, and she knew she seemed crazy to those around her, but let it be, for she was betting her life on Him, regardless of what the tomb looked like. In a world full of confusion, there had to be some sort of truth to compare the thoughts, the ideas, and the sin to, and she was committed to spend her days getting to know Jesus because she believed Him to be Truth, for she had seen great darkness and now she could not and would not deny the light she felt when the voice of Jesus spoke over her for the first time. She could feel the anticipation in the ground. The birds whispered His name as they zipped across the sky, and the grass sang the songs of Heaven as the wind rushed through it. Something was stirring, and she wanted to be a part of it. She opened the door and stepped out, slowly at first, but quickly picking up speed as she felt the rush of excitement flow through her veins. Something was happening; she just knew it. Her bare feet slapped the rocky soil as she ran across the hills to the tomb where Jesus lay. The clouds seemed to hover above her while the small stream to the right of her babbled out it’s praise. Creation was beginning to roar again, this time in a victorious rumble. Her body began to sing with it, the song bursting from within her. She found herself skipping, almost galloping her way across the field as a song screamed out of her being, “holy, holy, holy is Jesus the King. Victorious is He above every other thing. Death could not keep Him down. Sin has no place in me now. For, there stood my King.”
The willingness to follow Jesus at any cost, to know Him as Truth, and the understanding of His Holiness amidst our humanity is something that the world finds quite strange. But, no matter what it looks like, I will bet my life on the King of kings, and I will spend my days getting to know Him and trying to be like Him. I heard a quote lately that struck home for me. “Would anyone out there honestly say that gentleness is a core value they are trying to develop right now? Yes, it’s a fruit of the Spirit, and, relevance, popularity, charisma, and success are not. We probably don’t need any more books on leadership, but I am dying to meet some loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled humans (Chris Llewellyn- Rend Collective). Man, ain’t that the truth. Nothing wrong with wanting to lead, but are we doing it from a place of humility, constantly trying to be like Jesus in our servant-hood. Cause, let me tell ya, that man hanging on the cross, face mangled, body torn, blood dripping, and breath failing was not the image of leadership and charisma that many of us have. It wasn’t even a face we would consider victorious, and yet, that was the greatest victory this world could ever know because God Himself decided to become like us in order to save us by dying for us so that we may live with Him in victory over sin and death. It was perfection come down. He was truth poured out, love bled out, and grace given out. So, yes. Yes, I will spend my days trying to be like Him, seeing Him for who He truly is, and being faithful to what He has called me to, letting my yes be yes and my no be no. I feel it is so important as Christians who want to grow in maturity and desire more of Jesus to constantly be working on the fruit of the Spirit because the Bible is clear that people will know us by the fruit of our lives. So, are we faithful to our commitments? Do we show up for what we said yes to? Are we listeners, or do we simply listen to people just enough to have a good response because we care more about our thoughts than hearing their heart? Are we love to people? Are we patient and kind to those around us, and are we gentle in how we live our lives and overflowing with goodness? Are we self-controlled when it comes to all areas of life? Are we working on these things daily? I’m not sure about you, but I want to be more like Christ, and I want to continuously work on looking like Him. Jesus is the most perfect picture of love, and yet, He is also perfectly holy. I have been brought to tears multiple times this week by simply thinking about how beautifully holy He is. The greatness of the cross is blowing my mind. That symbol of death, that was reserved for the worst of the worst, was redeemed and became a symbol of love and grace because of Jesus. He took what was dead in us, and made it come to life. He took the ugliness of the cross, just as He does our lives, and made it a beautiful masterpiece simply because He showed up; simply because there stood the King.
Her feet slowed to a stop as she skidded up to the edge of the tomb. Her mouth hung agape as she noted the stone rolled to the side. Delicately and full of caution she stepped forward. It took a minute for her eyes to adjust to the dark cave around her, but as they did, she stood in awe of the sight before her. She saw the bench where His body had laid, and her eyes rested on the grave clothes, folded into a small pile. A small giggle erupted from within her, for she knew her King had just defeated death. Not only did He defeat death, but He did so with ease and even took time to fold the death clothes and lay them to the side. His goodness was evident in that place, and it smelled of new life. She sunk to the ground, smiling, whispering her praise as peace overtook her being. There, in the stillness, His holiness radiated, filling that empty room with hope and love. She knew in that moment that no matter what would come her way, she would never grow tired of speaking of His holiness and basking in His greatness. The cross that was meant for evil, God used for good. She picked herself up, brushed herself off, and with a confident smile prepared to step out into the world, excited to share of His goodness, yet desiring to spend more time getting to know Him. Her heart beat quickened as she stepped over the threshold, and she drew a fast breath as her eyes opened wide to what was happening in front of her. Nothing had prepared her for this moment, and the holiness overtook her. Love began to flow through her veins, and she could hardly utter a word. She was filled to overflowing, and all she could do was whisper, “thank you,” for there in front of her stood her King.