When I read the gospel accounts of Jesus' life, and he gets to the place where he sets his face toward Jerusalem, I hear something like the Inception soundtrack in my head, just droning and foreshadowing and terrible.
This city that kills prophets and stones those who are sent there.
This house left desolate.
And Jesus set his face to go. He set his face to die.
There is such a weightiness to that reality. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." And yet, God makes it clear that I wasn't even his friend - I was his enemy.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent began telling a lie that we have since longed after. You can wear your own crown.
Surely God is suffocating me. Surely God has his foot on my neck.
Adam & Eve's opportunity for obedient worship was made to look like constriction when loving boundaries were distorted as wrought iron bars. Oh the irony of the prisons we build for ourselves in believing the deceiver's lies.
Today is Palm Sunday. I've not a clue whether or not everyone who receives this mailing list believes the things that I believe, but the gospel of Jesus Christ who set his face toward Jerusalem to set captives like me free is the only hope that I have. This God-man who submitted himself to a shameful, counterintuitive crushing of the serpent's head through his death on a cross.
A little over a year ago, I was privileged to be a part of a hip-hop compilation that came out of Holy Culture called The Drop. Thirteen different artists each took a piece of the scripture's redemptive historical narrative and told The Story Of God. I was asked to begin the compilation with a piece about the creation story as it led up to our first parents' dismissal from the Garden of Eden - the first Adam that necessitated the coming of the Second.
Today, and throughout Holy Week, I'm making that poem - The Beginning. The Separation. - available for free on my Bandcamp page. Don't get all worked up about it - it was only 99 cents in the first place - but I guess I just wanted to put a reminder out there about something that, from the very get go, I hoped would be a helpful resource for others. Perhaps it's especially pertinent as we enter this week remembering the reason Christ had to set his face toward Jerusalem in the first place.
"Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet." - Thomas Watson
I pray that, as we enter into this season together, Christ would be sweeter to all of us than he has ever been.