How must Jesus have felt? When Jesus redeemed us, He took our sin upon Himself. He had to. That was the price of redemption; To bear the dirt, grime, disease, damage and sores caused by our sin. He came to us in this wicked world, Lord of All, born amidst the squalor and neglect that comes with man striving for his own self-preservation. Our sin will be judged. We will be judged, but the blessing, if we are believers, is that we will not bear the penalty therein. God sees our sin on the shoulders of His son. So covered in wickedness, filth and sores of sin that God the father could not even look at Him. Yet Jesus bore it. He bore it out of love for us. This was the cost of our redemption. Jesus died to His Kingly self, left His glory and communion with the Father to rescue us from our squalor.
We often compare the act of adoption in human terms to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He ransomed us, we should ransom them, right? Has anyone considered what that means... Anyone who hasn't actually done it? Sometimes the parallels are striking. Today is one of those days.
For two days I held and loved the girl who will be my daughter. I saw her joy, her beauty, her humanity... No longer an expressionless face in a faded, poorly scanned photograph, she is real to me. Today, I saw another truth; a not-so-heartwarming reality. The director decided we would go outside. It was a perfect breezy 65 degree day. Anyone who has been to Eastern Europe knows what that means. BUNDLED. Well, she wore a dress and a pair of the knitted-looking tights I hated as a child, but because she must have a hat to go out, no giant hair bow. In fact, her hair wasn't even combed. The odor from a mouth that may have never made contact with a toothbrush was awful and must have been masked the day before by the banana she inhaled for I did not notice it when she showered me with kisses yesterday. She did not smell clean or sweet and left an odor on my skin and clothes today that ended up being most unpleasant for the four-hour ride to Moscow. Worst of all, my facilitator and I spoke about her constant itching and it is evident from her face and hands- her only exposed skin- that she has scabies. Any other parent who has adopted is nodding right now. They know it. It's the thing that causes intense itching, either real or imagined, as soon as you hear the word because you know that you had such close contact. I watched her climb up and slide down the old metal slide repeatedly and was grateful that my facilitator was there to help with play and communication. It broke my heart to look on her and see the grime and filth and disease. I wanted to whisk her away to my hotel and scrub away the grime, debride her sores of her infestations and pour out a healing balm; To scour her mouth of years of built up decay and stain. That is what will happen when she is finally released into my care.
I heard a voice in my head, my own voice, ask "do you really want this wretched, dirty, unloveable thing?" Paise God for His Holy Spirit in me that urged, did I want YOU? You were wretched... The stain of a reckless, selfish lifestyle left behind layers of grime that I could not stand to look upon. The filth of your own mouth that uttered hateful, slanderous, blasphemous lies had built up a stench of a different kind of decay in you. The infestation of your own sinful desires brought with it an insatiable itch you scratched at every urge. No matter what seemed cure you faced- lust for attention, affection, food, drink - you went for it. You scratched every itch until your life was a mess of sores visible to any and everyone who dared to gaze in your direction. Did I want YOU? You know I did.
"for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10 NKJV)
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. (Matthew 18:12, 13 NKJV)
"...He knelt down and prayed, saying, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:41, 42 NKJV)
And finally Jesus said, "In My Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also." (John 14:2-4, 18, 19 NKJV)
And so faced with the reality of what Jesus did for me, I answer in honesty, humbled by the truth. Yes. I will give of myself for her. I will pay the price of bearing the stench of years of neglect, grime, dirt and disease. I will take on me the sores and the itching I contracted while holding her close to me in an attempt to undo the damage of years of abandonment. One by one, as another layer of grime is removed from her she begins to shine. She will become clean, fresh..... New. And with every layer I will be reminded that is what being ransomed is all about. I cannot wait to see it!
It is no different than what Jesus did for me. I am humbled. I am awestruck. I am wiling.
I will redeemyou. I will call you by name. You will be mine.