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The “Failure” of the Cross…

“Count it a blessing that you’re such a failure… Your second chance might never have come…” – David Bazzan (Pedro the Lion)

If I wasn’t such a failure at almost everything I do,  than I wouldn’t get the chance to witness and appreciate the miracles of Jesus.  Our failures and lack of faith open up authentic opportunities for us to see the glory of the Lord shine even through our darkest nights… Jesus’s supposed “failure”  when he was crucified painted the black background that makes the resurrection masterpieces all the more gloriously beautiful.  At the cross, our darkest sins and most hideous failures as humans are mixed together to form the blackest background imaginable.  The painting looks grim, the canvas stained by utter darkness, the viewer can not help but get the sense of hopelessness.  Three days later we see our God paint a masterpiece over such a background.  The colors of redemption shine forth as the resurrection mural comes to life on the canvas.  From the blank expressionless darkness erupts a glorious masterpiece with every stroke. God laughs as He paints over our sin, as the very thing that once damned us becomes the backdrop that makes his pardoning grace so real and magnificent.  What a story!  The cross and the resurrection is God’s best work, since He himself is personally involved.  His paint is His own blood, covering our sin forever… At the cross God “fails.”  In the resurrection, He conquers sin and death forever and His glory is displayed to every generation and on the canvas of every Christian’s life.   For each of us who have believed this message and trust in the redemptive work of Christ, we are now God’s workmanship and his artwork, a beautiful display of His splendor for His Glory .

As my heart hears and believes such a message I cannot help but have hope.  This is good news for a sinner such as me.  It means that I don’t have to be the one to try and make a beautiful and worthwhile picture of my life… because I know I can’t.  All I really do is taint the background with my darkness, giving our redemptive God the chance to paint on the canvas of my life the very image of the risen Christ.  Maybe that is what repentance really is… recognizing our role as the dark background that makes the beautiful face of our savior stand out all the more. Maybe that is what faith is… believing that God through the work of Christ is indeed painting a beautiful picture over the mess we create.

This continues to baffle’s me.  In my weakness, that is when Jesus is the strongest. To the extent I realize that my sin and weakness covering the canvas of my life is merely the background for the redeemer to paint a masterpiece over, to that extent I am able to have hope even in the midst of failure. A  hope that everything is working for the good of those who love God and are called to His purpose. Everything… even my sin… even the cross…

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