When you have encountered Christ, you cannot stay the same. You walk away a changed person.
I pray desperately to the Lord.
Father, I am desolate. You saw the depths of my sin, every hurt I would inflict upon you, and you still chose the cross. You saw me lie, cheat, steal, envy, anger, bitter. Father, I am desolate. I am so desolate and I don’t think I can ever understand how you love me so much that you died for me. You tell me it is grace, simply grace, and I can’t help but wonder what grace is because it is unfathomable.
It does not make sense. It does not make sense.
I want to live for you. This life is yours, Father. Send me. Send me. Send me. Here I am, send me, Father. I want to pour out for you as you poured out for me. I want to love others as you love me. Send me, Father; I am finally saying it with a genuine heart.
I pray desperately to the Lord and ask Him to let me see Him. I plead with Him over and over again.
“Please, Father. Please, let me see You. I want to see You.”
As I wait for Him to reveal Himself, I think of the cross. I wonder what it would have been like to be there on the day that He died, to be face to face with Jesus. Immediately, I wonder if God is going to give me a vision of Him hanging on the cross, bleeding and suffering. I push the thought out of my head but it keeps coming back. The thought lingers for so long I am almost certain that I am going to be transported back in time and witness Christ’s crucifixion.
No such thing happens as I wait. I continue begging Him to let me see Him; He tells me, “Wait.”
“Be still and wait for the Lord.”
Vivian invites me to a movie night at Matt’s place; I am persuaded into going when she tells me the movie of choice is the Imitation Game. We end up watching an entirely different movie.
The Passion of Christ.
I come late towards the latter half of the movie, right in time to see Jesus’s tortured and battered body standing before the crowd of people who condemn Him to death. He is already dripping blood at this point.
Over the next hour, I watch the soldiers beat Jesus mercilessly. I watch the Pharisees look on in silent approval, doing nothing to stop His torture. I watch Jesus get crushed, whipped, kicked, beaten to a bloody pulp. It is painful to watch. They are humiliating a King. They are murdering their Savior.
There is one consistent thought that runs through my mind as I watch. “How dare you do that to Him. How dare you, you murderers.”
Silently, the Spirit whispers in my heart in response; “How dare you treat them like that.” How dare you neglect the poor. How dare you ignore the needy. How dare you avoid the outcasts. How dare you turn away the ones that needed your help. That was Jesus you turned away. That was Jesus you murdered.
It hits me right where it hurts; I am deeply convicted of my own sin. It was my sins that nailed Jesus to the cross, yes I knew that. But, it was not just the cross He endured. Everything leading up to the cross was painful. Every whip of the cord, every insult hurled, every kick of the soldiers, every stab of the thorns, every broken and bruised bone; He endured them for me. He endured them to make it to the cross.
Every lie I told; a whip. Every time I got angry at a friend; a kick. Every time I coveted; a buckle of His knees and the crushing weight of the cross on top of Him.
A fellow criminal asked in complete and utter confoundment why He embraced His cross. I begged Him quietly in my heart to drop it. There was blood in His eyes; I stared into them and wept.
I am so sorry, Jesus.
The anatomical and physiological details of crucifixion, if you are curious about what Jesus experience on the cross. It is enough to make you sick.
The Father revealed the Son to me in His most broken and vulnerable state; He reminds me that Jesus identifies with the weak and the poor.
I pray that I will not stay the same. I pray that I will be changed. I pray to start loving as Jesus did.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Send me, Father.
It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming.