In the last few days I’ve gotten some very good news, which I’ll probably share with you later. In addition, since last we spoke, I spent a bit of time in a hospital…Nothing very serious, apparently. They ran me through a battery of tests, woke me several times in the night to help me sleep, and dressed me up in one of those obscenely unstylish, backless gowns. They confirmed a decision I made long ago that I’m not one of the world’s leading sex symbols! No one should have seen me back against the wall, edging down the hall on my way to the the men’s room! I met some really nice, caring people, and they finally declared that I’m alive and don’t need to get measured for funeral attire right soon. From start to finish I give Wilmington’s New Hanover Hospital an A+ rating for their care of a lifelong hospital avoider!
For quite some time, I’ve been reflecting on the crucifixion. Just reading what Scripture says, thinking and praying about it. As before, my study was directed to the Scriptural accounts, not what great, devout thinkers have observed. Nor the masterpieces the Old Masters put on canvas and on the walls in the halls of my memory. I wanted to look again as objectively as possible at what happened, first hand, like I’d never heard the story before: who did what and what their motives and methods may have been…I also wanted to consider the criminal rush to judgment…The cruelly barbaric method of execution, the gawking, spitting, cursing, taunting crowd and the shattered little band of first believers.
Admittedly, this is a bit of a departure from the kind of work we’ve been considering with “God’s Comeback Kids.” While my commitment is still devoted to discovering and offering hope, the approach in this “lesson” is not like what I’ve done before.
This, though, is central to Christian faith. The Crucifixion of Messiah! The events of that first Easter weekend brought into clear focus the extent to which “little” “ordinary” sins can go when left unchecked and unforgiven. The things those people did that fateful day are the exact same kind of “sins” which you and I commit. Routinely. With little thought, and less guilt. Every day. If anything we say or think or believe about God and Christ is true, then here at the mock trial and incredibly inhumane execution we are witnessing simultaneously the worst that man can do. Ultimate sin. Rebellion against God the Father that will not stop short of murdering His Only Begotten Son! And, of course, conversely, we witness the extent to which the marvelous grace of God will go to redeem His lost, rebellious, sinful subjects!
In order to get your own view…not something heavily and perhaps unduly influenced by any other. . . why don’t you go get your Bible? Read it, without first reading what anyone else has to say. Form some of your own conclusions. It is, I believe, the Word of God for everyone in the world, including YOU. PERSONALLY. And you’ll never really know what YOU think about it unless YOU THINK ABOUT IT!
God’s servant, your brother, friend, and fellow student,