Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 35 of Lent :: In My Place

Read the following verse, very slowly.

"God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

How can hope be expressed in the face of senseless suffering? It began with a story that Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, relates in his book Night:

“The SS hung two Jewish men and a boy before the assembled inhabitants of the camp. The men died quickly but the death of the boy lasted half an hour. ‘Where is God?’ a man behind me asked. As the boy, after a long time, was still in agony on the rope, I heard the man cry again, “Where is God now?” And I heard a voice within me answer, ‘Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows.’”*

Reflection: Take a few moments and reflect on the above verse from 2 Corinthians combined with the image of “God hanging in the gallows.”

“As you gaze upon the cross, and long for conformity to Him,
be not weary or fearful because you cannot express in words what you seek.
Ask Him to plant the cross in your heart.
Believe in Him, the crucified and now living one,
to dwell within you, and breathe His own mind there.”

Andrew Murray

Prayer: Oh God, I hear Your victory cry, and I want to shout, too. My heart has wept with You, and now I rejoice in Your joy at going to Your Father. I see You leaving that Cross, and there stained with Your life’s blood are my own sins – a certificate of debt I could never pay – nailed to the wood with the nails that once held You there. But You are gone; You have paid it all, and I wonder how I can ever express my praise.*

*Eli Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day, 82.
*Prayer by Tricia McCary Rhodes in Contemplating the Cross, 149.

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