The Christian faith is a deeply ironic one. It’s a series of glorious non-contradictory contradictions and beautiful upside-down things. Revelation 7 gives us a few fantastic examples of this. First you have the saints washing their robes and making them white in blood.. The very thing that should stain and defile them is what makes them pure as snow because it’s the blood of the Lamb. Then, when those saints are shepherded, when those little lambs of God are fed and clothed and tended, who is the one doing the shepherding? It’s the Lamb of God, the one who laid down His life for them.
With God the things that should defile us purify us. The things we should serve serve us. Up is down, down is up, nothing makes sense, but gloriously and wondrously, everything is true. So when this world of sorrows rips tears out of your eyes, rejoice in the ironic mercy of Jesus Christ. Rejoice to know that it’s the hands once twitching in nail-pierced agony that will dry your every tear and give you comfort.
When you can’t understand the sorrow in your heart, when you don’t know how things fell apart the way they did, when you can’t understand how people could be so cruel and heartless, when you can’t understand why you keep being what you hate and giving yourself over to the sins you despise, don’t despair. When nothing around you makes sense, look to the things of God that don’t make sense, the things that are ironic and strange and upside down but true.
When your hands are covered in the blood of guilt and shame, the blood that has made you filthy and unholy, look to Christ and He will wash you in the blood that makes you clean and righteous, the blood that makes your robe white and gives you the right to live forever. When you are a lost little lamb, stranded on jagged crags, starving and hopeless, look to Christ and you will find your Shepherd in the form of a Lamb. You will find the saving hands of the Shepherd in the pierced flesh of the Lamb who gave you life in His death. Ironic, strange, upside-down, beautifully, gloriously, eternally true.