Do You Understand

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There is so much I don’t understand!  I don’t understand how a few strips of delicious crispy bacon can turn into five pounds of ugly fat.  I don’t understand why the closer you get to the bathroom the more urgent the need becomes.  I don’t understand why some people can’t see in the mirror that a size-sixteen body does not fit into a size-ten shirt.  I don’t understand how some women can walk on three-inch stilettos.  I don’t understand the physics of gravity.  I don’t understand predestination.  And I sure don’t totally understand the whole book of Revelation.  And that’s just the beginning of all I don’t understand.

But what boggles my mind the most the depth and scope of Jesus’ love for us.  I love these words from John 13: 1, “It was just before the Passover Feast.  Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.”  The next verses describe Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.  When we get to verse 12 we read, “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’”  That last question gives me pause and makes me realize that I do not even begin to understand what He has done for us – to comprehend the extent of His love.

I have tried to imagine what it would be like to have Jesus, the Holy God of the Universe, bend down before me like the lowliest of servants, gently lift my sin-encrusted foot, and wash it with the water of grace.

I am breathless as His gentle nail-scarred hands touch me.  Part of me wants to draw back because I feel so unworthy.  Another part of me is like Peter, wanting to be fully immersed in His cleansing love.  Do I understand?  No.  No, I don’t.  I try, but it’s too much for this finite mind to comprehend.  The full extent of His love compelled Him:

  • To empty Himself and take on human form and come to earth as a baby
  • To live a sinless life is a world contaminated with sin surrounded by people who “didn’t get it”
  • To go the garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed, abandoned and arrested
  • To endure the mocking voices of the Sanhedrin, the lies of the people, the condemnation, the blows of angry fists, and people spitting on Him
  • To stand before an angry crowd that demanded He be crucified
  • To suffer a flogging that left Him raw and bleeding
  • To tolerate the mocking derision of the Roman soldiers and the pain of thorns pressed into His skull, as other soldiers struck him in the head with a staff and spit on Him
  • To persevere as He carried the heavy cross through a jeering crowd that days before had sung His praises
  • To travel the road to Golgotha where He hung on a cross like a common thief and suffered a most excruciating death
  • His love compelled Him to accept in His person all the sins of humanity and provide atonement, forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and freedom.
  • His love for us enabled Him to endure the profound loneliness and desolation of having His loving Father turn His back on him so that we would be assured that God will NEVER turn His back on us.

There is no way I can understand what He has done for me.  His love is too deep.  It fills me with awe, wonder and worship.

It makes me want to fall on my knees saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!  Heaven and Earth are filled with your glory!”  It makes me want to live my life with deep-felt gratitude and passion!

There is so much I don’t understand, but as long as I have breath, I will continue to strive to grasp “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge (so that I) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18b-19)

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