Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Irises just begin to push up through the tiny gravel that was spread on the icy roads and then plowed onto the side when the deep snows came. I saw them as I began my morning walk. I felt my heart lift at this smallest sign of spring, the first I've seen here in these mountains. I wondered what lifts people's hearts in climates that don't experience spring. I was struck how the irises have been saved from the smothering gravel.
"Save" is an important word in Luke's account of the suffering and death of Jesus. Three times Luke ironically has those who mock Jesus state who he really is and what he is doing. The leaders scoff, "He saved others: let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers make fun of him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" One of the criminals hanging beside him derides him, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"
Jesus on the cross shows himself the Savior as he prays, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And to the criminal who asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom Jesus replies, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Pradise."
Almost despite ourselves, Jesus saves us from sin and death.