I am not sure I will ever get over the cross. It reveals my humanity more than any other act on earth ever could. There are so many lessons in the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins that I could spend my life being grateful for his willingness to pay for my birth disorder. I was born a sinner and just being born separated me from a relationship with God. Sometimes we get self- righteous and think….” I would have never eaten of that fruit I have learned better now.” The truth is we eat of that fruit more than we think we do. Each time we buy into the belief that we are entitled to have a life free of sorrow and trouble we are chomping away at the notion that we get a free pass even the Son of God didn’t get.
Picture this scene……..
Jesus was hanging on a cross his body shredded and naked. As
he hung there he would scan the crowd and see them mocking him and pointing and staring. He could see the despair in the eyes of those who had believed he was the Son of God and who now are questioning everything he taught. Some were missing at the cross who followed him. Jesus wept over Jerusalem when he saw their pain as he did the sisters of Lazarus grieving over their hopelessness. Jesus is always touched with compassion for us. He knew they would be called Christians even mocking their belief in him by the pagans. Paul reminded us to look to his sacrifice because it completed every reason we have hope. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2
The Son of God endured the pain and despised the shame and look
at how he handled it. As he hung there watching this scene he had compassion on his mother who was in agony over his death and on the crowd who was mocking him. He could have said so many things from that cross. He was innocent and in the right. He chose though to have
a relationship with mankind over
the moment he could have voiced how right he was. He knew he was going to rise again. He could have warned the crowd they would be sorry for how they treated him. He could have felt sorry for himself and turned his thoughts to selfish pride and been offended. Even one of
the men with him who were being crucified mocked him in front of the crowd. He was silent when being accused and silent about the offense when being ridiculed and shamed. What a Savior and example. Oh if we could only realize how much it is like gnawing our own arm off when we take offense at others in the body just because of what they think or say. Silence is golden at times.
But our Lord did none of those things. He was still taking care of the needs of sheep even on the
cross and when the man on the other side of him realized he was a guilty sinner and wanted to follow this Shepherd. Jesus didn’t say hey buddy it’s a little late can’t you see I am being crucified here. No he went about his Father’s business.
It was known that those who were crucified would push themselves up to get air in to breathe. As it was becoming time for Passover and they had to rush the crucifixion because the men were holding on to dear life. Pilate gave permission to break their legs, thus ending their ability to breathe and taking their life. When they came to Jesus it appeared he was dead and they didn’t have to break his legs. Just to be sure they pierced his side and water and blood came out. His life
wasn’t taken he gave it willingly. Listen to these words he said as time drew near. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Can you hear the LOVE in that statement. Are these the thoughts behind it?
Father they don’t see me or you right now they are blind and deaf. I love them Father, I am not thinking about myself right now this is all for them. I could be offended, YOU could be offended because they are mocking us, criticizing us, making fun of us, lying about us, judging us, doubting us and revealing how much more they would rather be
“right” than have a relationship with us….. Father they don’t know what they are doing when they do this.
Now here’s the part that grips
my heart. His Father’s business, forgiving our sin and restoring
us with him was so much more important than what people were saying or thinking, Jesus gave his own life instead of letting it be taken. When we let the crowd steal our joy, “our life”, the life Jesus
gave us, is being taken because it becomes hidden to those who need to see HIM in us the most. Jesus made himself of no reputation and became obedient even to death.
When I see how Jesus handled the crowd, at what was the toughest moment in heaven and earth, I am humbled if I even think of myself at all anymore when people talk about me or judge me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am not perfect but I am perfectly redeemed. Permanence is always better than perfection. One day in glory I will be beyond this world and all the ways you can fail.
If we are going to be insulted, and we are, let it be for being so bright a light that reflects the Son and not our sin.
I Peter 4:12-13
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.