Reflecting on our recent visit to the 9/11 Memorial, my brain couldn’t wrap itself around the unfairness of the deaths of those in the planes and the towers. They didn’t deserve such an end. It’s one of those things human emotion cannot grasp: why people do bad things and why innocent people must die because of the bad.
Our world is broken; and staining the good of many is the evil of few.
Sayings like, “Never forget” exist because, despite the gut wrenching feeling unnecessary death gives, in a week, a month, a year it won’t sting quite so bad. Minute by minute, we’ll grow more and more numb to something which we initially shook our heads at in horror.
My hope is built in such a story. In an innocent man’s suffering. In an innocent man giving it all, for me. But, he wasn’t merely innocent in his present situation. He was blameless in all aspects, in everything.
I attend a passion play yearly where the crucifixion scene, Christ’s bloodied, broken body on the cross, lasts at least ten minutes. For me, that’s a long time to stare at a symbol of forgiveness of my sins. It’s a long time to soak in the reality of what Christ did for you and me. It’s a long time to face overwhelming innocence against insufferable hatred. I know the play scene by scene, motion by motion, but I cry every single time. A lot of people grow uncomfortable when facing the crucifixion. They think it’s too graphic. It’s too much. They shield their children’s eyes, while looking down at their phone or over to their friends in avoidance of what is taking place before them.
We need the reminder.
We need to look at it; to be made uncomfortable by it.
Because it is too easy to forget.
Though blameless in everything, He took the guilt of mankind. He didn’t let go. His suffering, His strength, His sacrifice is my freedom.
The story ends with resurrection and redemption, yet it is His sacrifice I never wish to forget and whose sting can never allow to grow numb.