The Moment You Desire Most
I keep seeing you in that moment.
I keep seeing that moment, flipping it around in my mind.
I keep going back to that moment.
Over the years, I am struck in a different way each time.
How can one moment be my answer to everything? How can it encapsulate everything there is?
All that there is in my life can be seen right there. The re-depiction of this moment! I think back on it and it blankets everything and everyone. Unpacked exponentially and simplified in one name.
The cross of Jesus Christ.
Oh, to bring the mighty mercy tree to bear on the real issues of life. [pullquote]Considering all that Christ’s cross stands for and applying it to my life must be one of the most important practices out there.[/pullquote]
Life seems to be all about this re-depiction. I have heard it explained this way:
“The way to progress as a Christian is continually to repent and uproot these systems [of ‘try harder’] in the same way that we became Christians – by the vivid depiction (and re-depiction) of Christ’s saving work for us, and the abandoning of self-trusting efforts to complete ourselves. We must go back again and again to the gospel of Christ crucified, so that our hearts are more deeply gripped by the reality of what He did and who we are in Him.” (Keller 69)
What can happen to the one who bravely takes the re-depiction of Christ’s cross into every angle of their life? If I were to see nothing but this moment of love and justice, mercy and correction, and place it over the matrix of life, what would happen? [pullquote position=”right”]Seeing the cross in my waking, eating, working, longing, relating, speaking and sleeping would mean I see everything.[/pullquote] Searching the Scriptures for knowledge of the cross of Christ, that cornerstone that holds everything together, is simply turning on “that superior light which lightens every other light” (Van Til 65).
The Cross in Thrice Texture
It’s baffling how the same moment speaks to the past, present and future. [pullquote]The fine details of my life wrapped up in an act that has shot through all of space and time.[/pullquote] All at once. Yet separately. That dark day on Calvary split across history. It touches the sound waves of the spoken promise of a bruised heel and crushed head. It touches my life and yours today. It is the glory that will flood the final victory banquet. All at once, our Lord’s cross speaks.
Though it is a single event, it speaks to all others. All at once I see my belonging in the future while feeling my distinct dissonance here in today’s moment. All in one. Yet separate. In an instant I see his humiliation and my answer to feeling wronged. I see a vicious murder and the closest friend who understands. I see great love rejected and still my guidance in the inefficiencies of life.
If I can just keep holding onto this, I will make it through. But the moment holds me better than I can hold onto it. It just lives on and all of life and time is getting swept up by it. It is ordering and shaping the kingdom come as life unfolds before our eyes. [pullquote position=”right”]History develops according to the code of Christ’s cross.[/pullquote]
And yet, I forget this moment. And I feel awful when I do. Insane! I’m insane because I choose to let go of this one moment of clarity. I need this clarity! I need to know he is returning. It is similar to a wife, who in the toughest times, will have to really strive to remember the ways her husband proved his love to her. And like many women do, she has the miraculous ability to hold onto him. This can also remind us of the church, who clings to the act on the cross, and sings of this fact as she waits for Christ’s return. In her fading corruption, she struggles to hold onto this hope. Yet, even still, she is unable to give up. She sings, “I have overcome you, world.”
His people will never make true peace with their sin and the forgetfulness of his cross. We have this way of ignoring where true clarity is blazing. [pullquote]But in his goodness, and on this Good Friday, Christ won’t let us forget the mercy tree.[/pullquote]
One day I really believe this moment will finally swallow me up whole. My brothers, sisters and I will be walking re-depictions of the moment all finished. And as we all approach this finished moment, keep looking for the cross re-imaged.
Galatians for You: For Reading, for Feeding, for Leading (God’s Word for You), Timothy Keller
Christian Apologetics, Cornelius Van Til
For more meditations on the cross, see Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper.