(Image courtesy of Jim Berry, www.cayman365.com)
In my mind’s eye, while I was praying, I saw myself coming up to Jesus on the cross, seeing Him bleeding and hurting, so indescribably torn up. I started to cry, and reached up to touch His injured feet with my hands. He smiled at me, as best He could with His face so beaten, and His voice was filled with affection for me. “If my hands were free to do so,” He told me, “I’d hug you right now.” I cried and cried, and finally said to Him, “Jesus, I care about You. It’s so painful to see You so…broken.” “Yes,” He said, “but the breaks are where you get in. They’re openings. Just like the cleft in the rock where you are held safe, so the fissures of my Heart are carved out for you, a place for you to be hidden.” [This was also in answer to some prayertime I had had with Him recently, about what to do if you really need a safe place to go for rest, but aren’t physically able to leave where you are.] He continued, “as an infant is safe inside its mother’s womb, so you can rest safe inside of Me.”
I kept imagining it, as my kind of peace-image: being at total peace in my Lord Christ, in the depths of His heart, in stasis in the warmth and nourishment of His Blood.
God bless you,
Morgan Grace Hart
Exodus 33:18-23; John 6:53-59; Romans 6:11
Here is a journal entry from several years ago:
So today when I felt the need to pray at lunchtime:
I found myself thinking back to those images in The Passion of the Christ where He first sees the cross and embraces it. And I got this really moving thought in my imagination about Jesus first seeing the cross – a strange thought, since it will be the way He’s meant to die – that there was a moment there where God seemed to touch His shoulder and say, “take heart, Son, here it is!” and draw His eyes to it in the way that loving parents bring their children on Christmas morning into the room where they have lovingly laid out their gifts for them. Was there a moment, in His heart, where despite the horror, Jesus could see that, even though it was Punishment, even though it was Death, and His Curse… it was also His Life, the life that God had trustingly given Him to spend, full of good things and bad things, but a blessing nonetheless? – That He had been lovingly equipped with the strength to endure it, lovingly connected to the people He would save? That God had, at some point in Jesus’ life, begun to lovingly cultivate a living tree somewhere, knowing that it would be The Tree? That as some unknowing woodcutter felled that same tree, God was lovingly working through his hands to fashion the cross that His Son would be crucified to? That He had carefully orchestrated this, thinking lovingly of His Son, of what His Son was capable of?
Was it not just love for us coming from the Father, but also something He did because He loved Jesus, too, giving Him the greatest honor, though it came with such misery?
This thought was repeated to me three times. At the end came a thought closely related to a C.S.Lewis quote from The Screwtape Letters: “[sic] You fear this terrible thing happening to you or that terrible thing happening to you. You fear so many things, but all you actually have to do is the one cross that God has designed for you.” And I felt the Father tell me this: that the cross you bear every day is exquisitely hand-crafted for you by the Person who loves you most in the world…and once you fully grasp this idea, you will never be terrified of anything in life.
Dear friends, He was not only willing to die for you – He was grateful for it. His love for His saved ones runs so deep, I have no doubt that He constantly thanks the Father for allowing all these people to have a true relationship with Him, regardless of the cost to Himself to gain this kind of access to the human heart.
God bless you, and have a good day. And P.S. – I really recommend reading the Scripture references this time, if you’re unfamiliar with these verses.
-Morgan Grace Hart
Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 53:11, Isaiah 53 (whole chapter), John 12:23-28, Hebrews 2:10-18, Luke 9:23, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
For those without access to a Bible, a free online copy is available in multiple languages at biblegateway.com.