This past Easter Sunday was nothing more than a routine for me, a mere reminder of His perfect sacrifice for a desensitized soul as mine. I wanted to care but some facts are just accepted rather than appreciated. Sitting through service I engaged in a half-hearted hour of seeming convictions and emotions that were immediately disregarded upon leaving chapel. Several days have past since Easter Sunday and just as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ remains the same, my grasp of this sacrifice remains as trivial as ever.
I write this post while sitting in Clarke library studying for a quiz in my evening discussion section. I re-listened to a recently released worship song with a message of Easter. I now sit here in Clarke library unable to work because of the immense power of the words that this song entails. The message of this song causes not only tears to well up but a hunger for God to instill within my heart an understanding…an understanding of the gravity of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. For a person filled with even an inkling of such understanding would be changed forever and filled with eternal praise/repentance.
If you the reader have made it this far in the post I encourage you with every ounce of conviction that I have to listen to this song and to meditate on the lyrical power that this song possesses.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid.
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns.
Oh that rugged cross my salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out Hallelujah!
Praise and honor unto Thee!
Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree.
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full by the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed!
See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah! God be praised!
He’s risen from the grave.
-Man of Sorrows, Hillsong Live (2012)
There’s something amazing about taking a leisurely bike ride to the library or to X-destination especially in breezy weather like this.
Getting on my bright as crap yellow bike, listening to classical music, and cruising on the streets rejuvenates me beyond the capabilities of anything else except for Jesus of course. During the twenty or so minutes that I’m on my bike, I don’t have a care in the world and the stresses of my week don’t consume me. Paying bills this week, politics exam next week, getting enough sleep? Doesn’t mean anything. All that matters is getting from point A to point B and being mindful of the cars whizzing by me. The combination of the wind on your face, classical musicians playing away, and rhythmically pedaling is surreal. A lot of people reading this might think it’s extremely fruity to listen to classical music or describe this whole experience in such a poetic manner but I don’t think any person here on campus understands the immeasurable joy I have on my bike.
Tonight biking to Nau to study for my exam, I was feeling it. I had Suite No. 1 in G Major for cello quietly playing on my iPod while riding on this beautiful, breezy night. I couldn’t help but crack a smile and hum along. Waiting at traffic lights, motorists probably thought I was on drugs but that’s okay. In my own sense I am high, high on life.
The more I think about it I’d like a job as a bike messenger one of my years here at UVA or get a chance to ride in the big city. Getting paid to do the thing you love. I think the ultra combination of the city’s bustle/lights and the towering buildings while riding my bike would probably result in me yelling or fainting for joy in the middle of riding my bike.
So, if anyone reading this sees me riding back home tonight or sees me/have seen me the countless times I ride around Grounds, don’t be offended that I don’t acknowledge your “hellos!” because for the few precious moments I have on my bike I’d like to enjoy them.
This past winter break I had the utmost privilege of attending Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA. If you’ve never heard of Passion, it definitely is something worth taking a look at: 60,000+ college students from across the nation coming together in the Georgia Dome to worship Jesus and make known that His renown is the desire of our souls (Isaiah 26:8).
The conference has had a specific focus on human trafficking, mainly sex trafficking in an attempt to not only raise awareness that 26+ million individuals exist today who are trapped in some form of slavery. The sheer number of this definitely domineers my thought but with faith and prayer the Passion Movement officially launches the End It! Movement in February to free the millions of enslaved people worldwide.
This year, during one of the evening sessions, Passion’s media team put together a video of a certain girl named Rachel. Her life was absolutely pathetic and heartbreaking to hear: at a young age with the absence of her parents in her life, her uncle wanted to have sex with her and she ended up in the dark world of sex trafficking. Hearing her testimony on the Jumbotrons, I felt absolute disgust and a biting sense of anger towards Rachel’s uncle. How sick does a human being have to be to surmise an act like that?
The story of Rachel and the unspeakable actions of her uncle resonated on my heart for the remainder of the conference. As I sat through Piper’s sermon I went through the Bible and stumbled on 2 Samuel and the story of King David. In a nutshell, the story goes King David looked on Bathsheba bathing, the wife of Uriah the Hittite one of David’s most loyal warriors. Drunken with lust, King David sent Uriah to the place where the battle was most intense and Uriah valiantly fought but was killed. At the mention of this, King David called for Bathsheba, slept with her, and married her.
However, King David failed to realize how severe this sin was in the face of Almighty God. The story continues where God sends Nathan the Prophet to King David’s kingdom…Nathan begins with a story of two men living in the city: one was a wealthy man of immense wealth while the other was an impoverished man with a single sheep. The wealthy man had a guest and decided to take the impoverished man’s sheep and have it killed for the banquet. King David, enraged, declared that whoever this man was deserved to be killed. At that moment Nathan the Prophet condemns King David and exclaims that the king was the rich man in the story. Realizing this, David weeps bitterly and realizes the extreme offense he had committed towards God.
As I was reading this I realized that Rachel’s uncle and how much I detested the man wasn’t justified. Rachel’s uncle was driven by an extreme form of lust but I, on the other hand have experienced and relented to lust countless times before. I am just as sick a man as Rachel’s uncle. In fact, the entire sex trafficking issue is fueled by one thing: man’s lust.
Returning home from Passion Conference, it’s so encouraging to see people so on fire and passionate to be a part of this End It! Movement. I felt the same during the conference and I even donated a hefty amount for the cause but returning home, returning to school I’ve lost that fire. I’m the perfect imitation of a scene I saw in Hotel Rwanda where no matter how much you televised the genocide in Rwanda, the public would view the graphic images, declare it a horrible sight, show some forms of pity, even donate a few dollars, and go back to “eating their dinners.”
I know that sex trafficking exists and I know that young girls like Rachel are being raped and exploited every passing minute as I write this post. Yet, I sit here sympathizing but lacking that burning passion in my heart to see change in this world, specifically in that area.
So the more I see people posting and sharing this End It! Movement and uploading a few pictures from Passion that are past due, I sit with an enormous amount of guilt on my heart. I know bringing awareness is doing my part to help the movement but something in me yearns for more.
After all, sitting here and going about my regular routine of life and stumbling left and right at obstacles I face everyday, I realize I am no better than Rachel’s uncle.