I am not good at leaving things behind. Truth be told, I am not even good at leaving things unsaid, or letting go of what I desire.
It is not in my nature to sacrifice myself for the comfort of another. I know that is not noble or admirable of me to admit; and though I am sure that there are exceptions to that rule, I know that half of my nature would be dead-set against it should the occasion ever arise.
Because I was born with a darkness inside.
An image bearer of God born into a sin nature. No, sacrifice is not inherent.
I’ll never forget the moment that I realized, that left to my own devices, I would destroy myself from the inside out. A cancer eating away at who I wanted to be, so unable to attain true and lasting goodness on my own.
Momentary successes were short lived in the scheme of ugly moral failings and begrudging selfishness. Why couldn’t I be who I strived to be? It felt as if the darkness was pulling me under in a sea of black, while my lungs struggled for something more.
…But there was also light.
And with the first glimmer of light, I realized that I was divided, rent in two by the darkness and by what could be good. Because although I was born with a terrible blackness, I was not designed for it. Bleak obscurity was not my purpose.
But no, my ability to sacrifice was not innate. Nor did I possess the strength inside my own self to overcome the evil that fought for control. I wanted to be good, desired it so, but every time I seemed to grasp it at last, it slipped out of my hands… And I fell hopelessly into the dark.
Imagine my surprise when The Light met me there.
Today is Good Friday, a day that is good because of a sacrifice that was made by The Personification of Goodness for my inability and unwillingness to sacrifice.
Jesus Christ, the only one who was ever truly good, subjected Himself to the gamut of human emotion. Betrayal, adulation, physical breaking, humiliation, friendship, love, sorrow…and He still chose to reach into my darkness and sacrifice Himself to bring me into the light.
The whole hosts of heaven behind Him, and still He chose to become a spectacle of death and mockery so that I may be rendered whole. So that my sin nature that threatened to suffocate would not have a firmer grasp upon my heart that what I could fight.
He plunged himself into my darkness, fought it unto death, and rescued me from the other half of myself.
And He did it for love. For love of me, despite that I was unable to do anything for Him. Unable to love Him fully with the darkness in my heart, He pulled me out of the black so that I could experience the true love and goodness that was born out of a sacrifice grander than I could have ever endured.
I am not enough. On my own, I am not good. But Jesus is whole. He has always been good, and His wholeness is more than enough to make up the difference of my broken halves.
Through His sacrifice, we are made new.
“He died not just for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.” –C.S. Lewis