How Far the Messiah Came for Me
By Jody Neufeld
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!” – Isaiah 42:6-8 (NIV)
I was reading today again in Matthew. I say “again” because it was in Matthew 27 which is part of what we have just been hearing during Easter time, the Passion of Christ. But today I was struck again by Jesus’ cry of despair from the Cross, “Why did You abandon me, God?” That isn’t a cry that I expect, nor do I want to hear from the One who split the earth and sky, Who breathed life into Adam, brought fire down from Heaven to a burning bush and a sacrifice contest! And yes, there it is!
When God speaks, the sentence ends with an exclamation point, not a question mark! God crying out with a question? I’m the one with questions! I don’t understand the slaughter of school children in their classrooms! I don’t understand the death of a talented, loving teenager or sweet, innocent toddler from cancer! I don’t understand … Oh. Ok.
I am a child of God who lives in a sinful world and sometimes I choose to sin when I should just turn and walk away. The weight of my sin weighs me down, brings confusion and … separates me from Father God. And that brings illumination to the light bulb of understanding. Sin separates.
At the moment when all the sins of every person who ever lived or will live was placed on the blood sacrifice of Jesus, He was separated, had to be separated from Father God. Suddenly, He knew the confusion that happens when a soul is separated by sin.
As I continued to read I began to ‘see’ the tomb. The LORD of Light was wrapped like a mummy and placed into a tomb of total darkness. Jesus, the Messiah, entered into the same darkness that covers me when I step into sin or when I cannot seem to see past the blackness of evil.
When I cry out in pain, when I sink into confusion as the world strikes at me unexpectedly with death, sickness, loss or whatever, I can reach out and Jesus is there. The Light of God’s Love cannot be dimmed and the lies of the enemy no longer bring doubt because I know my Savior has traveled the dark roads and knows the Way Home. Jesus is my Light!
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus written by Helen H. Lemmel & sung by Michael W. Smith