The Power of the Gift—Part II
Not long ago, I witnessed a group of men give away a van to a woman who was transporting inner city kids to school. The kids were there when the van was given away. When the keys were presented to the woman, I heard one of the kids in the background exclaim, “Who does this sort of thing?”
Indeed, who does this sort of thing? When Jesus walked this earth, he performed all kinds of miracles. Scripture tells us that the number of miracles was too many to memorialize. Jesus exhibited power over nature—calming even the wind and sea. He could make something out of nothing—bread to feed the masses.
Yet when his day in court came, he stood silent. The disciples knew his skill in engaging religious leaders. But when faced with serious charges against himself, he failed to answer. You can imagine the chagrin of his disciples—why didn’t he stand up and defend his own life?
Instead, he allowed himself to be flogged, beaten, spit upon, and cursed. He allowed himself to be denied – even by his friends. He hung upon a cross, the most miserable kind of death. And in his agony, the Father, he openly proclaimed, left him as well. Jesus became the burden bearer.
And in his final moments, he cried out, “It is finished.” Scripture tells us that the Roman centurion, witnessing the way Jesus died, proclaimed, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” His statement might well be translated into a form of a question. Who does this sort of thing?
Why does an innocent man with all the power in the world, indeed, the crown-bearing King, give up his life? It is to give us what we could never get for ourselves. Jesus brought us back to the Father, restoring the relationship we had destroyed. And the greatness of this gift causes us all to look in wonder upon the gift bearer.