John 19:31-37 Sacred and Scary
One soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
Last year I thought Katy Perry was the greatest. Her hit single, “Firework”, inspired me so much that I used her lyrics in one of my sermons (for teens) and went out to buy her CD. But then my world (that revolved around her) began to crumble. I saw her video and thought it was so unoriginal; you know, politically correct. In fact, I was thinking of making a spoof out of it. The final blow came when I heard the rest of her songs. That’s when I decided to throw the CD in a dumpster. I was devastated (not really).
A few nights ago I saw a preview for Katy Perry’s documentary, “Katy Perry: A Part of Me.” In the short preview, she made a comment that I’ve heard a ton of times and is commonly used in today’s pop culture. She said, “I’ve made mistakes in my life but I don’t regret any of them.” Now I know that Katy Perry is a musician, not a philosopher or theologian, but every word she speaks is as if she were a guru, a monk, a rabbi or a sage for millions of teens. Yes, every word, from her insured lips, will be repeated a thousand times from the young lips that look up to her and would gladly follow her. So what exactly did she mean by what she said? What mistakes did she make but not regret? Is it even possible (logically speaking) to call something a ‘mistake’ if you don’t regret it? I don’t think so. I asked myself what it would sound like if I listed my mistakes and did not regret them. “Let’s see”, I thought to myself, “I’ve used people in my life, but I don’t regret it??? I’ve lied to people in my life but I don’t regret any of it??? I’ve broken people’s hearts but I don’t regret any of it??? Remember…she said “I’ve made mistakes” (errors in judgment) not “choices” or “options”.
Who knows…maybe in her documentary she will clarify what it all means. But I think we can assume for now what it means because we’ve heard this before. We’ve all heard this before; it’s been repeated for centuries by many world leaders in various languages. We can translate it. It means, “I’ve made mistakes in my life, but what really matters is I’ve become what I wanted to be.” Yes, a lesson for all our youth: “Do whatever it takes to get what you want.” This is what it’s all about. Look at me…I’m a hit! I’m a celebrity! My opinion matters! The lights shine on me! The fans wave at me! The music plays for me! Yes, I’ve made mistakes in my life but I don’t regret any of them.” I realized my dream (at the expense of the truth, of others, of my innocence) and that’s all that matters.
They all go down the same: they all go down. When she is dead, she will be remembered. If death happens suddenly, she may very well take with her a few of her fans. If it takes years, then just like any other 95 year-old performer: she will be remembered mostly by her bed-ridden fans.
What I love about Jesus Christ is He is so different. When He went down, He actually rose. He rose from the grave, in popularity, in significance, in meaning, in every single possible sense of the word. He died and the world gradually fell in love with Him. Why? What’s the difference? What makes Christ so much different from all the rest? It's obvious: His life.
The Lord did not realize his life-long dream; He realized his life-long nightmare.
Most of us would run at the first hint of our nightmare coming true. Instead, the Lord stood his ground. Cost whatever it cost, He would not betray His Father, His dignity, His mission, His humanity, His divinity. What led the Lord to his death were not his feet or his brains. It was his heart. It was and still is His Unconditional Love for us. Only this kind of love goes a long way, passes the test of time and reaches all people.
The Lord did not live to realize his dream; the Lord lived so that we could realize our dreams! He did not come into the world to be loved; He came into the world to love. If you are going to love, then make it Unconditional and realize your worst nightmare!
Unconditional love is shocking and scary. It translates as "be another Christ". This means I will love as the Lord loves me; that is, “It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made in your life. As long as you repent (regret) and ask for forgiveness, then you will make it big!"
This is the sacred heart of Jesus. It's sacred and scary.