Day 24: Purple

Currently I am obsessed with the color yellow. I replaced the couch in my office with yellow chairs. My new water bottle is yellow. And my husband gave me a pair of yellow Converse for Valentine’s Day. I should clarify that they are faux Converse. I do not want to end up on PreachersNSneakers.

My previous obsession was purple. The color, not the movie. I confess that I have never seen The Color Purple. Does this make me a horrible person? Probably. I have never seen The Princess Bride either. Oops. There goes 20% of my followers.

Sometimes people want to know my favorite color, but I do not really have one. Purple, however, seems to be near the top of the list. In the account of Christ’s crucifixion, the soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. They also twist a crown of thorns to place on his head, then they take turns mocking him.

The robe could have been any color at that end of the rainbow spectrum. Blue, red, purple. All of these were considered colors of fabric for the elite. They were worn by royalty and the wealthy. These fabrics were expensive because of the dye required. It was messy and time-consuming to prepare the fabric. Ironically, those who crafted the fabric were considered unclean people. The dye stained their hands, and it was difficult to remove.

So, Jesus stood in the Praetorium (Mark 15:16) wearing a purple robe that may have been blue or red along with a fake crown made of thorns. They mocked him. They hit him. They spit on him.

Every year I read this passage during Holy Week. Every year I experience two conflicting emotions. First, I want Jesus to seriously pull a Chuck Norris or Rambo move. “Dude,” I want to say, “you have the power. You have the right. Use it”. All of my American-ness rises up and I want Jesus to make it stop. In my daily life, especially these last 14 months, I want Jesus to make it stop. I want him to flex his muscles and get the job done the way we would do it.

But my second response is to fall on my face. I am reminded that I am nothing like Jesus. For he is gentle and humble in heart. Christ, being the very nature with God, did not consider equality with God something to be used for his own advantage (Phil. 2:6). He was obedient and single-focused on the greater purpose. And he calls each of us to take his yoke, his way of being in the world, upon us and to learn from him.

In these 29 years of following Jesus, I am reminded each year of how far I have come. But also, I am reminded of how far I am from representing him well. My hands are stained from sins of omission and commission. My heart needs to be purified every day by the Spirit of Christ. And the path I walk is littered with good intentions gone rogue. For 29 Easters, I have been reminded why I need a Savior. Mostly, I need a Savior to save me from myself. 2021 is no different.

Today we are halfway through Holy Week. Lent has ended and Easter is coming. I am ready for Easter. I am ready for the reminder that my hands and my heart are washed clean by the blood of Christ. I am grateful that his humility, gentleness, and obedience is offered to each one of us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! May you, this day, take a moment to remind yourself of a need for a Savior. And may you know that you have been made new.

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