The power of the bleeding love of God is a phrase I read in a book by N. T. Wright (Following Jesus, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994, p. 19-20). This phrase speaks so powerfully during this Lenten season. When someone is near death, bleeding and broken like Jesus was, we think of them as powerless. Yet, the period of time that Jesus spent bleeding on the cross was the most powerful time in all of human history. When God bled, the world was transformed.
The bleeding love of God—it is almost palpable when you describe it thatway. The world had never known what real love was all about until then. Thereis no greater love and indeed no greater power. Power is love and love is power.These words dance in my mind and leave me at a loss to give further explanationfor them. This phrase attempts to describe the indescribable.
I am not alone in my inability to express so great a reality. Many wiser andmore spiritual people than I have been silenced by the truth of the cross. St.John Chrysostom was called Chrysostom, which means the golden mouthed one. Hewould preach over two hours to totally packed churches. Yet, on one particularHoly Cross Day celebration, he barely spoke during his sermon. He put out allthe lights in the church and held one small alter candle illuminating first theface of Jesus, and he began to cry. Then he brought the candle to one hand andacross the chest of Jesus to the other hand; by the time he got to the woundon Jesus’ side he was fallen over in heaving sobs. He held the candle atJesus’ feet, and he had no words to speak. His emotions and his silencespoke volumes to the crowd. St. John Chrysostom understood quite well the bleedinglove of God and its power to transform the world.
Paul understood this power as it relates to the cross. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, Forthe message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to uswho are being saved it is the power of God. There never has been, and neverwill be, a more powerful act of God than Jesus’ dying on the cross. Morepowerful than the creation of the world is the power to transform sinful soulsinto righteous citizens of heaven. That is what happened when God bled on thecross.
The irony of God bleeding from a cross as a revelation of His greatest powermay leave many to conclude that all who seek power in that are fools. I praythat your soul resonates around, above, below, behind and beneath the Cross ofChrist. I pray that you know that though others see weakness, hatred and foolishnessassociated with the Cross of Christ, you see it as the power of God’s lovethat it is.