As a little girl, I remember gazing at a picture of the crucifixion that hung on the wall in my Sunday school class. Christ body was thin and hung limb to one side. His head bowed low. Blood trickled down His face from the crown of thorns atop his head. Nails pierced His hands and feet. Later I discovered it was the love of a heavenly Father for a sinner such as I that held him to that cross.
I was a young adult when I read about the crucifixion in the Word of God. The Bible painted a different picture of Christ’s death than the one I had known as a child.
“Yet many shall be amazed when they see him—yes, even far off foreign nations and their kings; they shall stand dumbfounded, speechless in his presence. For they shall see and understand what they had not been told before. They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there.” (Isaiah 52:14-15, LBT)
Suddenly, I realized they had not simply nailed Christ to a cross, placed a crown of thorns upon His head, gashed His side with a spear, spit in His face, gave him vinegar to drink, gambled for his clothes, and beat Him with a whip, but they beat Him until He became unrecognizable flesh hanging on a cross.
My mind flashed back to the first time I walked into the hospital room after my husband had been burned in a house fire. His skin was completely black, his head was swollen twice the normal size and the skin on his arms was gone. He was unrecognizable!
If Porter had been told ahead of time that working in that house would result in death, I’m sure he wouldn’t have chosen to go. Nevertheless, Christ knew the horror of what men and women would do to Him and, yet He chose to suffer. Christ laid aside His royal crown, took off His righteous robe, and left His Holy Father and His heavenly home to come to the dark land of sin and corruption. The King of all Kings considered Himself nothing. Willing Christ paid our debt. And yet, He was Innocent.
Christ didn’t deserve death. He had never lied, stolen anything, nor was He a drug dealer or prostitute. Christ never disobeyed, harbored hatred, or judged or rejected others. He never gambled or yearned for his neighbor’s wife. Christ never cheated on His taxes or betrayed a friend. No, Jesus Christ didn’t do any of this, but we did.
Suddenly, I realized. I was the guilty. His death was for my past, present, and future sins; nothing more. It wasn’t man’s will or nails of iron that held Jesus there. It was the obedience of a Son and the love of a Father for His wayward children.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The good news on this Good Friday is Christ died for “whosoever!” That includes you. Whosoever you are, a parent, a teenager, a man, a woman, a grandparent, or a child, Christ chooses you. Will you receive His gift of forgiveness? Your life will never be the same.
Dear Lord, Forgive all my sins. Take my life and make me your own. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus name a-men.