It's chilly in Dallas today. Spring has been slower to come this year and today is one of those days where I can't seem to get warm. I'm a wimp when it comes to the weather - cold especially. I get pretty miserable really fast. Compound it with wind and I'm done. When my brother went through Hell Week during Navy SEAL training, he described how the instructors would repeatedly call for the men to "get wet and sandy". They would run into the frigid Pacific Ocean, exhausted already, and then have to roll up the beach, covering themselves in sand, and then just lay there freezing in the surf until the instructors released them. Sometimes, it was hours. When he made it through, and we saw pictures of him, he had a large kind of bump on either side of his face.
"What's that on your face, bro?" (I don't really call him 'bro' - I'm not cool that way.)
"They're my jaw muscles - it's from shivering".
So, in West Dallas, the homeless in the cold always get to me. Sometimes, shelters are full and the habits are strong and I've seen men change into gifted long underwear in the closed car wash at the 7- eleven because they weren't allowed in the store anymore.
And a couple of thousand years after the fact, I think about the night Jesus was arrested. The trial. The scourging. And the sympathy and justice teased out but abandoned in the hunger for blood and power. The Bible speaks to all of this. And sometimes, I wonder if it was compounded by cold. Did his toes feel numb and did the wind blow dust in his eyes all night testing his resolve even more? Did he sit on a concrete floor longing for days in the sun with his disciples? Or infinitely better yet, in the warmth of the presence of his Father?
The greatness of his sacrifice already levels me. What the Lord endured for my freedom and the kind of death that was required on my behalf is overwhelming. But sometimes, I think about the simple physical pain he felt. How all his resources were stripped away with his freedom and he was at the mercy of guards and men who wanted him dead.
Grace. It all was grace.
A couple of months ago, friend of mine asked me contribute to an Easter devotional she was putting together. My topic was, He is Sacrifice, and since writing it, I keep seeing more and more ways Jesus was that for me before I even knew I needed it.
Here's an excerpt...
"Beloved, we are not intrinsically drawn to stories or even songs of sacrifice because of pithy sentiment. Our hearts jump out of our chests because we are beneficiaries of the greatest, most profound sacrifice ever made. We can't help but love even dim reflections because they ultimately point to the one-of-a-kind glory in Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who died so that we might live".
The devotional along with Easter Ornaments can be ordered at It's Treedition.
May you enjoy a blessed Easter and see glimpses of His sacrifice all around you.