11 May 2011

Baby it's cold outside

The top temperature today in Sydney didn't even reach 20 C (68F). It was chilly to the bone. The wind was up, the clouds were thick, the sky grey. It really felt wintry, even though we're only barely into autumn. I wore a jumper, hat and jacket. And still felt the chill.
Chill is in the air after last night's Budget 2011 was announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan of the Labor Party. The Liberal/ Coalition opposition was quick to deride the programs nixed by Labor and to label as wrong so many of the benefits extended, mostly to rural Australia. The cold reception by Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and others was not a surprise, however.

Also in the air is the chilly revelation that another Qantas aircraft was forced to turn back after being struck by lightning near Auckland today. The incident comes less than 48 hours after one of the airline's Boeing 747s experienced engine problems in the air near Singapore.

Trouble in the air, and no one to bring relief.

Pictured is the famous painting by Thomas Blackshear who also designed illustrations for numerous postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service (USPS), including four in the Black Heritage stamp series. Blackshear is an African-American. The painting is named 'Forgiven' and depicts a man, caught in trouble, caught by regret, and full of doubt and pain. It shows Y'shua, behind and strong, able and powerful. The title says it all. It's in being forgiven that we find grace and help in time of need. It's being forgiven that allows us to face the results of our sins and face the music. Chill might be in the air, but Y'shua brings us the warmth of his grace and love.

When I read online the many many many views on the painting, I'm struck by how many are struck by the painting. The impact is great. People, as with all good art, see different things in the characters. They see different results and different situations. But everyone who writes sees something. And that's something to be sure, to commend Blackshear.

And maybe you will have a perspective as well. Maybe you are in the kind of pain that this man in the purple shirt is in. Maybe you have done some damage with the hammer like he did. Maybe you are guilty, racked with the reality of that guilt. Maybe you see the holes in the hands of Y'shua and imagine that you were the one who nailed him to the cross. After all, someone did that. And what would be this man's response? What is your response to the awareness that you have, that you are responsible for the death of Y'shua?

After all, the crowd was agitated.
Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Messiah?” They all said, “Let Him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matthew 27.22-23)

The Roman soldiers after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. And after they had mocked Him, they took His robe off and put His garments on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him (Matt. 27.29-31)

It was a chilly reality when the sky overhead turned dark for 3 hours. "Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour."(Matthew 27.45)
A Nisan day, and yet chill in the air. Distrust, mistrust, pain, suffering, anxiety. It was like a day at the Kentucky Derby races, with everything on the line. But it was a real day, like no other. Everything was on the line.

And just before Y'shua gave up his spirit (B'yado afkid ruchi), we read in Luke 23.34 Y'shua was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Wow, forgiveness. The missing ingredient in our lives. The reality most required. That which the purple shirt man needed. That which you and I need. Forgiveness. It's found in one place, and extended by One Person-- Y'shua.

Warms your heart, doesn't it? Gives you strength and courage, you know?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

excllent,soooooo beautiful when Yeshua's own Jewish people come to Him like you,---That's truly worm my heart,truly,the Lord knows!

Bob said...

One by one, Jewish people, and Chinese and South Americans and folks all over the globe...are saying yes, and repenting and receiving Y'shua as Savior and Lord. Thanks be to God. Glad this warms your heart, anony.