About 10 years ago, I heard my child’s small voice over the phone: “Daddy, they’re about to take me back for surgery and I’m scared.” My heart ached to hear those words coming from that innocent little voice. My little girl lay in a hospital bed awaiting a life-saving surgery and she needed her daddy. I was over 300 miles away, helpless. Due to the circumstances, I could not be there; only her mother could be with her for this procedure.
I remember feeling as if time was standing still as I searched for the perfect words to comfort my daughter. All I wanted to do was reach out and hold her. I wanted to be her super hero and save her from the fear and pain she was facing. I wanted to lay my own body down on that hospital bed and have them cut on me in her place, but all I could do was comfort her from a distance. Instead of falling apart, I had to be strong for my daughter. I knew it was in God’s hands and our hope was in His love and mercy (Romans 8:35-39 Romans 8:35-39 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
American King James Version×). I changed my perspective, turned to Him, and a calmness came over me.
When we cry out, let’s remember that our Father sees us, loves us and will comfort us no matter what we may be facing.
I assured her that I loved her very much, that she was in God’s loving hands, and to think of the many prayers that were being sent up on her behalf. I encouraged her to remember God had made His will perfectly clear by the miraculous events that unfolded for this surgery to take place. I reminded her of the anointing she had received and the hours we had spent discussing the procedure. Her mother and I had wanted her to be a part of the decision because it was her body.
I then asked her to close her eyes, and we said a prayer. When the prayer was finished, that soft, scared voice had changed to a brave and confident voice. Just before we said our goodbyes she said, “I feel better now; see you in a few days Daddy.”
I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my head that it was impossible to concentrate. The overwhelming question of “why” cried out loudly in my mind. Why was my child lying in fear and pain while I was powerless, unable to reach out and help her? I cried out to God for help and even begged to take her place, but there was no answer. I felt numb, useless and completely helpless as a father. Thankfully, through God’s loving hands, those feelings did pass and another mighty miracle unfolded before our eyes.
During my daughter’s health trials, I experienced a change of perspective that stopped me dead in my tracks. While this change was very painful, the experience impressed upon me something that I’ll never forget.
Most people have faced one or more defining moments in their lifetimes like my story. Those moments can be so intense or extreme that they have the power to totally change our perspective and worldview. Even though the trial or situation may not be pleasant, this different perspective has the ability to open our eyes to see a deeper meaning. We gain the ability to see something hiding in plain sight that can add an enhanced level of understanding.
A change in perspective is also used by some modern artists today through the use of the anamorphic style. In anamorphic artwork, an artist arranges objects in an assortment that at first glance seems to be just a plain pile of junk. The artist carefully plans the whole installation and places seemingly random objects in specific patterns, selecting them by color and size so they will resemble a famous portrait or image only when viewed from a specific angle. If a viewer is to enjoy the artwork as intended by the artist they must look at it through a particular device, or just from the right angle. Once the viewer steps into this perspective, the results are jaw-dropping.
How can a perspective change enhance our understanding of the Passover? What could we see by looking at this event through the eyes of the greatest Artist of the universe? Not only do we see an innocent Man enduring such hatred and humiliation, we also find a Father watching from a far distance who must witness this horrific chain of events against His Son. The Passover is a family event and holds a love story for the ages.
Although I would never want to relive those events again, I’m thankful for what I was allowed to learn from it. It took me a long time to recover emotionally from that event, but gradually the lesson that God was showing me became evident. What I had experienced was only a small portion of what He had faced when His Son cried out from a garden and said, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” He cried out to His Abba, His Daddy, not once, but three times in prayer (Matthew 26:36-44 Matthew 26:36-44 36 Then comes Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.
40 And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
American King James Version×). He was so distressed His sweat became as great drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44 Luke 22:44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
American King James Version×).
How did the Father feel when His Son cried out to Him, “Daddy, is there another way?” He reached out and comforted His Son, and gave Him the strength to continue as planned. It would have been easy for the Father to end this horrible event immediately, but for our salvation both willingly stayed the course (Matthew 26:53 Matthew 26:53Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
American King James Version×). Those final words in His prayer, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done” are proof of how that moment with His Daddy strengthened Him to continue as planned (Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
American King James Version×).
What if God had stepped in and rescued His Son from the pain, humiliation, and the certain death? If He changed the situation, the purpose of Jesus Christ’s First Coming would have been in vain. We would still need a Savior.
Just as in my daughter’s situation, God had made it apparent that this surgery was His will. If we had the faith to go through to this point, why stop now? What benefit would it have been for my daughter if my body was replaced on that operating table? Anything that was performed on my body would not change anything for her life to continue. All the prayers, anointings, planning would have been for nothing. This had to be our focus and that is what gave her the courage to follow through with the plan. Even though a father’s heart was breaking to witness this happening to his child, I knew that for her life to continue the plan had to go forward as well. We both had to submit to the will of the Father, put our faith in Him, and follow through.
Think of the events surrounding the Passover. For life to continue for us, the Passover had to be carried out as planned from the foundation of the world. The Father, at that very moment, had to exercise one of the greatest examples of love in the history of mankind. Jesus Christ also had to humbly submit to what the Father decided. They both had predetermined what they must endure for us to become part of the God Family and were determined to follow through with it (1 Peter 1:3-9 1 Peter 1:3-9 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
American King James Version×). Our Father did not leave His only Son alone when He cried out. He had compassion and sent comfort through an angel (Luke 22:43 Luke 22:43And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him.
American King James Version×).
In hindsight, I understand in part what God the Father must have felt when He heard His Son praying in the garden. Like an anamorphic art form, from one angle it looked hopeless and heartbreaking, from another, the perfect expression of love between a Father and His Son. Passover leads us to a beautiful goal intended by the ultimate Artist, God the Father.
When I remember the words of my daughter calling out to me from that hospital bed, I hear the words Jesus cried out to His Father that heart-wrenching night. It was agonizing for me, a father, to watch my child face this fearful situation, but her life was saved because of the pain of surgery. Our Lord and Savior saved each one of us through the pain and suffering He submitted Himself to. My daughter was not alone, just as Jesus Christ was not alone facing that moment of anguish. Through the vision and comfort of a Father, life continued for my little girl and life was made possible for all mankind. I loved my daughter so much I knew I could not interfere with the surgery to save her life. Had I interfered, would she be alive today? Similarly, if the Father had interfered at any time, where would we be after death?
We, too, can have this type of vision if we consider what we are facing from the perspective of our Father. Both He and Christ gave us the perfect example those many years ago. This should encourage us to look beyond what we are facing (John 16:19-22 John 16:19-22 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said to them, Do you inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me?
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.
American King James Version×) and view it from another perspective. Let’s look at the events in our lives through His eyes and focus on the powerful love. Jesus Christ’s hope and faith in the Father was fueled by the love His Father poured out on Him and the common vision they shared. We can experience this same love and vision as well. Although the events of the Passover are gruesome, horrific and painful, the end-result is sitting at the right hand of the Father and by this we have hope we will do the same in the coming Kingdom.
When we cry out, let’s remember our Father sees us, loves us and will comfort us no matter what we may be facing. His vision is much clearer; He does not focus on the pain, but on the joy of His children being perfected for His Kingdom (Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
American King James Version×).
This year let’s add to our vision by seeing the Passover through the eyes of the Father. When we change our perspective, we will experience a love and a vision that will inspire us to continue until the end.