The Big Picture


big picture We often talk about “the big picture”, the sum total of all the pieces of the puzzle. We talk about whether or not we can understanding our role in the big scheme of things.

This morning I meditated on Jesus last earthly days. I mused on how Jesus was a big picture person. I thought of his time on the cross. Over and over again, I pondered on his words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Sometimes we pass over the significance of those words. How could Jesus find it within himself to pray this way?
Can you pause there for a moment? Think of your worst enemy – the most offensive thing ever done to you or to someone you love. Personalize this. Make it your moment. 
How difficult is it to offer your personal forgivness? How much more challenging is it to pray for that person. Oh, not just “Bless them, Lord”, which is good no doubt, but how about asking God to remove their responsibility and forgive them for what they did, even acknoweldging that they really didn’t know the extent of their wrongdoing?
Jesus prayed not only for Father to forgive them, but he offered up what could be interpreted as excuses or perhaps reasons for their actions. “They don’t know what they are doing.”
I stopped there this morning. What did it take for Jesus to be able to intercede that way at that very moment? 
He did everything he did as a man. Yes, a man full of the Holy Spirit. The God-man. When he offered these words of intercession, he prayed as a man. He is our example.
Imagine Jesus in anguish, pain, mocked, tormented- physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. How could he move beyond his humanness and rely on the Holy Spirit within him to not only offer his personal forgiveness, but also to move into a realm of releasing offense and interceding for his tormentors?
Well, first of all, he had understanding of his purpose. He knew his mission. He stood up in the synagogue and declared it. He walked it out day to day. He wrestled in prayer with God over it in the Garden until he had peace to walk in these moments.
Jesus had the big picture. He knew that his time on the cross was not primarily a personal offense, although it was personally painful for him. It was a spiritual battle.
Scripture tells us that at any moment he could have called for the angels to rescue him so we know that he stayed on the cross, moment by moment, receiving the grace of the Father to complete his task.
When Jesus looked at those who crucified him, he looked past the very present pain of the moment. He looked into their hearts and knew that they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Scripture later tells us that if they had known, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory.
At that moment,  his crucifiers didn’t see Jesus’ glory. It was clothed in his human body. Their hearts had not come alive unto God.
How many times are we unable to see what is happening in the big picture? How many times are we unaware of our purpose and destiny? How many times do we get caught in the moment, offended at a “person” and frozen in our seeming inability to forgive and unwilling to pray for our offender?
I must confess that at times I am just like those who crucified Christ. Caught in the adrenaline. Caught in the emotions of the moment. Caught in the current movement of the people. Unable to hear with spiritual ears. 
Many times I am more like the crowd than my Christ, but I can rest in the quiet assurance that God is working in me, bringing me more fully into the image of Christ until one day I stand before him transformed into all he destined me to be.
Today I choose to “stay” in the moment with Christ on the cross, humbled by his pure heart of love for his offenders, of which I am one.  Today I ask him to give me his heart for those who wound me. Today I ask for pray for the ability to be naturally supernatural, loving my enemies, blessing those who curse me. Today I ask  forgiveness for being too bound in my offenses to move into the heart of God for those who may offend me and have offended me in past days.
I acknoweldge that I am often unable to see the big picture. I stand on God’s word that he is able to cause everything in my life to work together, like pieces in a puzzle, for my benefit. 
In order to do this, I must release my rights to understand, to be right, and to be God’s personal hand of judgement for others. I find that when I do these things, I am more able to hear God’s heartbeat. I sense his presence more fully. And I see… I see parts of the big picture and by faith I trust that God can fit the pieces together.
How about you? 


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  1. Cathleen says:

    Mikki – I think you are so right when you write “I must release my rights to understand,”. It is so hard for me to understand why people, many times other Christians, say and do hurtful things. As a human I always lament ‘Why are did they say that? Why do they think that?’

    My desire to understand them (and give them the benefit of the doubt) blocks my thoughts about forgiving them. Indeed, I should learn to give up my human right and desire to understand people, and try and see them from the non-human view of God’s perspective.

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