I love food. I love coffee. Especially good food and good coffee.
I have a basil plant in my back garden. Everytime I walk by I grab a leaf and eat it. It’s incredible. Nothing added to it. Naked. Ocimum basilicum in all its glory.
I love coffee. I now drink it black or with a tiny bit of almond milk, but 15 years ago I added an embarrassing amount of table cream and sugar. So much so that I’m not entirely sure I could in good conscience say it was coffee. It was more of a hot milkshake. It was a dishonest cup of coffee.
This Holy Week with our minds and hearts fixed on our glorious Jesus Christ I’d like to share a thought about the honesty of the cross.
You may have noticed that we as the human race have a propensity towards stumbling around in the dark. Hiding, running, covering up, masking the taste, pretending. This is one of the most harrowing effects of the fall of Adam. We’ve lost our minds. Our perception of the Reality found in the Father, Son, Spirit relationship is often completely skewed.
In this state of delusion we (fallen humanity) make assumptions about who God is and what He’s like. “He will only let me down.” “I can’t trust Him.” “He’s only going to use me.” And the tragedy is that we so very often get stuck there. Those delusional untruths begin to shape the way we see God, ourselves, others and the world around us. We build our lives here.
Enter Jesus Christ. In the incarnation Jesus Christ comes to show us what God is really like. The only One who has ever seen God has come to make him known. The exact imprint of God’s nature. God with skin on. Reality.
At the cross we witness a moment of breathtaking honesty between humanity in its delusion and the Trinity in it’s disruptive glory. The flesh and Divinity at full pitch.
“Crucify him!” Proof that we had lost our minds. The flesh in all of its glory would rather kill God than have any semblance of a relationship with Him. Staggering honesty.
There on the cross hung Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, broken, scorned, damned, bleeding and naked. There in all His Glory He cries out “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Honesty is met with Honesty.
I remember when one of my kids was really little and would run around the back yard buck nekkid and my father-in-law commenting to them “there you are in all of your glory”. My child was running around with nothing to hide, nothing to mask the taste, honest.
Thinking about this over the last few weeks has been so challenging to me. I so often feel like I need to add sugar and table cream to my side of the relationship I share with God. I’m realizing that just like my coffee it becomes dishonest at that point. On the cross we see that our contribution to the redemptive genius of the Trinity is honesty. Brutal. Naked. Honesty.
In the moment of honesty at the cross we see that the Trinity is willing to do whatever it takes to have relationship with humanity. “Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
Recently a friend and I were chatting and he said that he felt like God was inviting me to be brutally honest with God. This came at a really pivotal time where I was processing a few difficult and confusing things going on in my life. Saying yes to that invitation was one of the best things to ever happen to me. My honesty was met with Honesty and it unleashed a whole landslide of goodness.
I sense the Trinity extending that same invitation to you this Easter. The invitation to brutal honesty as a way to deeper intimacy with the Father, Son and Spirit. They came for you in all your glory, no sugar or table cream is necessary.