Sometimes the joy of being alive overcomes you with full force and takes your breath, so that – breathless – you can only shout and laugh relaxed-frantically at how beautiful and deeply satisfying life is. Oh, this beautiful illusion that any volume and pitch of vocal utterance could do justice to the wonder of simply being.

And sometimes the weight of being alive in a broken world overcomes you as well, takes your breath, so that – breathless – you can only scream without voice, feeling your innermost parts recoil in sorrow and dispair, nerves shattering to pieces. Countless pieces. Oh, this ill-informed illusion that any internal breaking could rightly reflect and do justice to the brokeness we experience.

And then there is the Crucified. Hanging, like a laughing stock, between heaven and earth. Naked. Shattered. Breathless. And suddenly things start to make sense. They are still horribly complex, yes, even more complex than ever before, because the Crucified reveals the whole complexity of life – but he infuses it with meaning. And having risen from the dead, he infuses it with the new breath of life.

Two words stand:

“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22)

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (Jesus, in John 10:10)


It has cost life to give life. Something to remember… next time, when I am breathless.


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