I love the easy:
I love to think about Him as Royal....at Christmas for instance. A little baby - born as King. (Luke 1 and 2, etc )
I love to think about Him as Defender ... rebuking the disciples trying to keep the children away - pulling the babes into his lap to bless them. (Mark 10:13-16)
I love to think about Him as Healer - traveling around touching the pain-stricken. Touching them. Does that strike you in your core? It should. His holy hands touched the defiled. The sore-covered. The bleeding..... The dead. We are wise to get the enormity of that. (Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 7:31-37, etc)
I love to think about Him as Deliverer - freeing people of demonic oppression - rebuking and casting out unclean spirits - thwarting their destruction of human hearts with just a word. (Mark 1:32-34, Luke 4:31-37, etc)
I love to think about Him as Teacher - sitting with the multitudes, having compassion on their souls, opening up their lives to the Divine. (Luke 8:4-15, etc)
I love to think about Him as Revealer - answering the door to anyone wholeheartedly knocking down doors to find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 11:9)
But Jesus as Sacrifice? - As tortured, stricken, beaten, crucified? I neglect it - out of ease and ignorance and haughtiness. All too often I look at the cross - I wear it around my neck and I point people to it and write about it....but I never stop to consider the reality of that tree - stained with innocent blood all for the cause of saving my soul. (John 18 and 19, etc)
Jesus as Payment? As Stand-In? There's no words for that - and yet I still have very few thoughts towards it.
This may be why:
I fail to recognize the enormity and filthiness and number of my sin. I fail to recognize my absolute need for Him in this way. Sure - I can recognize Him as my King, my Protector, my Mender, my Reliever, my Instructor, my Affirmer - but oh, my Atonement? He is that, too. He is that, mostly.
His whole reason for moving among us? Me and you.
What's so incredible about this...audacious even....is that He knew it would be this way. (Isaiah 53) He knew that the one's He came to rescue would spit in His face. He knew that we would fail to grasp the gift He bestowed on us when He died in our place. He knew we would forget, refuse, and shun Him. And He did it anyway.
I've been praying a daring prayer- that He would show me my need for Him - particularly my need for One who is my Sacrifice and Savior. May it be so - for all of us....that we would get a glimpse of our own sins-pardoned. And that we would see Him, truly.
At Easter and always.
Lord, let us see You and know You for who You are, really. Let us be aware of our need for You. Lead us into truth and belief and understanding. We praise You for the price You paid for us all. Shed light on us, Lord. In Jesus, Amen.