How far would Jesus go to rescue someone? There is no one like Jesus. No social services program, church, or rehab program can do what Jesus can do in the life of an individual.
Jesus came near the land of the Gerasenes–wild, filled with tombs, and feeding areas for swine. No respectable Jewish man or woman would enter this area. A “lunatic” lived there–an outcast, naked, ashamed, and possessed. Jesus traveled to the depths of despair and shame to find him–to provide an encounter with truth and perfect love. Amazingly, Jesus was rejected by those who should have recognized Him as Messiah, but this lunatic immediately recognized and acknowledged the power of Jesus–“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” All this lunatic knew was shame and shame brings this belief that we should be punished. Everyone else has given up on me, judged me, and left me to my disease–“I’m unworthy!”
Jesus reaches out, finds us, seeks us on our worst day and says, “I love you.” We can run for years. We can shrink back and even shake our fist at God, but He never withholds His love and mercy. He said to us that he would turn ashes into beauty. Why do we hold onto the ashes while He is creating beauty? Release the ashes and fall into His arms.
I don’t think even Mother Teresa could understand the depths of this love and mercy–no one can. We are incapable of understanding the depths of His love. For, if we were to understand it, the mystery that holds us in those darkest moments that has no words, no music, no understanding, we would create a “human understanding” of His love. It’s incomprehensible. It’s the kind of love that removes you from your circumstance and lifts you high on eagle’s wings! It’s the kind of love that will last for eternity and never falter, go away, or be absent because you’ve messed up. It’s the love that says, “You are beautiful. I created you. I think you are amazing!” A love that rises above all loss, evil, despair, and conquers death!
Jesus, thank you for the cross, Your love, and grace. Thank you for going to dark places with Your presence and reaching out to save….
Psalm 107: 19 – 21
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Based on Lent readings by Sue Mink