Jesus’ journey to the cross ends today as he is raised up on the tree for all to see. As Christians, this is an essential event in our faith story. Knowing that, however, doesn’t make it any less excruciating for us to imagine. I can almost feel each blow and hear each taunt jeered at Jesus. I have to shut out the noise of the world to do so, but that’s how I want to spend my quiet time today. I want to feel closer to Jesus.
I can’t help but think about what Jesus was feeling besides the agony. Was he picturing all of our faces as he endured his torture? And what about Jesus’ abusers? Imagine what evil must be burning inside for them to commit such a deed on another human. What kind of mindset must they have had to reconcile their actions?
Have you ever seen the movie “The Passion of Christ” that came out in 2004? For me, it’s one of those movies that will haunt me forever. I will always remember where I was, who I was with, and how I felt after it was over. The theater was in the next town, and not a word was spoken by anyone in our family that night on the drive home. I’m thinking it might be good to watch it again. To remember.
Sometimes we get a little lax in our faith walk. When things are going good for us we might even forget to give God thanks for our abundance. When we face adversity, we can also be blinded to the obvious solution right before us. Jesus. Jesus satisfies every need and desire. He is the main thing.
Have you ever wondered how the people could let Jesus die like this? If he hadn’t died that day on the cross, what would have happened to the promise of our salvation?
I’m sure the people passing by, mocking Jesus, didn’t realize how stupid this taunt was, “save yourself and come down from the cross!” Jesus would never have been that selfish. Jesus knew his moment had come to save every one else, even those hurting him. His mission on earth was culminating in his death and what would come next.
Did it surprise you that even up to the end, people were hungry for miracles? “Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” It’s like they couldn’t truly accept on faith that Jesus was who he said he was. His charge, “King of the Jews,” doesn’t sound like a death sentence to me. Yet in that day and age, there were drama and loyalty issues we don’t necessarily understand today.
Are you ready to believe in Jesus and what he did for you?
These words from Jesus really rock my world. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” To think that Jesus felt abandoned in his moment of suffering sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? He obviously knew he wasn’t alone with his “head knowledge,” but his heart and emotions were leading the way here. How often have you felt desperately alone in the midst of your own struggles? Remember God is there for you, too.
Take some time today to reflect on what Jesus did for you. He wasn’t just some man that died on a cross. As even the Roman officer realized, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Let’s pray. Lord, I am overcome with emotion. It’s so hard for me to fathom what you endured for me. Help me not to rush past this moment but to truly rest in your love. May my heart of gratitude continue to swell as I focus on your great love for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.