We all have a choice to believe in something, I choose to believe in God!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


You're standing on a dry and dusty hill. There are people everywhere. All of which have come out to see the latest crucifixion. People are milling about simply waiting for the 3 prisoners to arrive. Off in the distance you can hear the crowd coming. People are rejoicing and laughing as if this is a great day for the city. A day wherein the riff-raff is being done away with. Every one is so glad their city will be purged of these 3 criminals.

Two of the criminals are petty criminals, thieves. The city is full of thieves so no body pays much attention to them. But the 3rd, a Jew, He's different. He's being crucified for the pleasure of the Pharisees. They've lodged these charges against Him. Calling Him a false prophet, a liar, a deceiver. They incited the people against Him. The people, for lack of knowledge, have joined the Pharisees in their cries of, "crucify Him."

The crowd of people surround the 3 criminals as they make their way up Golgotha, "The Place of a Skull." It's time to hang each criminal on their respected cross and let them languish unto their death. It's been a cruel death for the One who is different. The Roman guards have beat Him mercilessly. They've whipped Him until the flesh rips from His bones. They plaited a crown of thorns and not only laid it on His head, but pushed the mighty needles into His flesh until the blood runs down His face. They've ripped His beard from His face. They've showed no mercy.

There's something so different about the One's behavior. He seems resigned to this merciless abuse. The thieves are begging incessantly for mercy, crying out against what is coming for them. One insists he is innocent. The other assuring if he can have another chance, he'll steal no more. But the 3rd one, the One they call Jesus, He says nothing. He is struggling with the bulk and weight of the mighty tree He has to bear up the hill. There's a man helping Him to bear His cross but it's been forced upon him by the guards in order to speed things up. From the beginning of their journey the man protests saying, "what have I to do with this deceiver? Find another to help him!!" However, along the way, the more he looks at the face of the Man he is helping, the more he begins to feel a need to help Him, and he resigns himself to this task and even wants to bear this weight with this Jesus.

As they finally come to the place where each will hang on their cross, the guards have but to lay the cross on the ground. They force the thieves onto their crosses for hanging, but the man Jesus, needs no urging. He goes in compliance. Almost willing Himself freely to climb upon the tree and allow the next phase of His suffering. They will drive nails...great rusty nails, into His hands and feet to secure His body as He will begin to slouch under His own weight of death. Death will drag His body to the ground. The nails will secure Him there for all to see.

The nails are driven in, again, mercilessly. But He doesn't say anything or cry out in pain or protest. He endures. It's beyond anything any man can endure in silence but this Jesus, this "man," He endures this immense immeasurable suffering with resolve and stamina not to be matched by any human, ever. For, what kind of man doesn't cry out?

The crowd of people who have come on His behalf consists of simply His mother and His brother. There are perhaps some who followed Him and His sayings during His life but many have abandoned Him now in the face of this evil. Fearful that they too will suffer such a fate as His. But, rest assured that they are watching these proceedings from within the crowd. Drawn by His spirit of Deity. They cannot understand themselves as to why, but they are drawn nonetheless.

He hangs now. He hangs in the sun, the heat bearing down on Him. Until darkness came. A different kind of darkness. A daylight darkness. The end is soon. But He hangs in waiting. The thief He is dying with looks over to Him and sees with perfect clarity who he is hanging unto death with. The thief begs for the mercy he feels in his soul is receivable. He acknowledges with his mouth that he is a thief and worthy of this death. He tells the people that he deserves his punishment, but this "man" has done nothing to deserve the injustice and unrighteous acts perpetrated against Him. He looks over at Jesus and says, "Remember me when you go to your Kingdom." Jesus looks over to this wanton soul and says, "you will be with me in paradise." The man had only to believe in Him, and was saved. The other thief doubts this Jesus to his end. Saying, "if He is a deity, if He is God, let Him come down off of His cross and save us three!" His doubt would steal His soul in it's moment of evil and unrest. He would graduate from this world to find no rest for all of his eternity.

In one last act of humanity, Jesus says, "I thirst." Words that declare Him a man but also that were a fulfillment of prophesy in their right, for King David the Psalmist prophesied of His thirst. It must needs be said for the prophecy to be fulfilled in Psalm 69:20 that "...in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

Suddenly, the One they called Jesus, cries out. He cried out only once in agony. It wasn't when they were driving the nails in or whipping Him mercilessly. He cried out when the sins He bore for all mankind separated Him from God. When the darkness fell on the earth for those 3 hours, the Son of God was apart from His father, for the Father is pure and Holy and cannot look upon sin. He cried out, "E' -li, E' -li, la' -ma sa-bach'-tha-ni?" "Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?" The pain of His flesh didn't compare to the pain of His separation from God.

There's no suffering in our lives that compares to being separated from God by our chosen sins. There's nothing you can do on this side of eternity that will hurt you that deeply. The pain and suffering of separation and the falling from Grace will bring a pain that has a depth incomparable to anything your body can endure. Think about this with quiet reverence and realize that confessing and repenting of such sins will bring you back to Him and reconcile you to your Father. Thereby returning you to the "peace that surpasses understanding." It's a perfect peace.