Lenten Reflection – Part 5

by DanWolgemuth on March 29, 2024

“The look.” I remember it well. And likely more relevantly, I remember giving it.

Words are superfluous. “The look” communicates disappointment, disapproval, distain… and perhaps worse.

The outcome of “the look” varied, but seldom did it accomplish the intended purpose.

I’m quite certain that Jesus had a look. It was a look that Peter received…

But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60–62, ESV)

No doubt, it was a look that the thief on the cross received…

And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41–43, ESV)

The look of Jesus is an invitation. Not into condemnation and shame, but an invitation into reconciliation and grace. It’s not a condoning look. It’s not a dismissive look. It’s not a passive look.

And into this look, into the eyes of Christ, there is only one appropriate response.


The perfection of Christ invokes it.

And not just for thieves on a cross… and not just for traitorous acts. But for all that is in me that rebels, rejects, doubts, ignores, worries, denies, or ambushes the greatness of God.


Not a generic admission. Not a quid pro quo. Not a comparison to others…

Rather a self-exposing admission of my selfishness, to my selfless Savior.

Repentance is the only appropriate response to the perfection of Jesus.

His look. My confession.

His response is grace and mercy. His eyes tell the story of restoration, of renewal. Forgiveness.

On Good Friday, as I gaze at the cross, my posture is repentance.

My list is long. My sins are real. And on my sin, Jesus looks with the perfect mix of justice and mercy.

“The look.”

And to that look I respond… “Forgive me, for I have sinned. In what I have done, and what I have left undone. I repent.”

And to this confession, I have full line of sight to the empty tomb. Life to the full. A child of the King.

Good Friday.


“The look” that changes everything.

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