a compassionate people, seeking, serving, sharing, discovering the love of Jesus, together.
Coloma United Methodist Church
Last month I had some very minor outpatient surgery that I had been contemplating for some time. I had a hammer toe removed—the second toe on my right foot. It was a procedure I had been contemplating for about nine years, ever since I had heard about a friend of my mother’s having it done. There was no question that something needed to be done.
Even so, I did feel like I was betraying this toe of mine. Obviously it had been with me my whole life; I knew it was going to be cut off, but my toe didn’t “know.” And I actually felt badly on behalf of my hammer toe. How could I do this to a toe that had been a part of me my whole life?
I was reminded then of times in my life when I have felt betrayed; times when I have felt that information and intentions have been deliberately withheld from me, or people have been duplicitous. These episodes have been very difficult and painful, and have caught me by surprise.
And then I think about how much more excruciatingly painful, and more thoroughly deep and profound Jesus Christ’s sense of betrayal must have been. How agonizing! Even his closest disciples denied him, and hid from him, and one disciple quite literally betrayed him ultimately into a mob of people who wished him dead. Christ knowingly faced all of this punishment, in spite of being the one being without sin, the only innocent in all the world for all time. If the first covenant required regular sacrifice at least twice daily of a perfectly unblemished farm animal, then the thought of having one ultimate sacrifice that would be good for all time under the new covenant would have to be the ultimate possible: truly, nothing short of God’s only begotten Child, who was without blemish, without sin—perfect!!
And we should praise God every day that Christ did that, willingly, intentionally, on our sinful behalf. What an act of selfless, unconditional love!! How will you say thank you to God?