You know the feeling when you are standing toe to toe with someone and staring into their eyes? Their eyes can say so much with so little motion and no sound. Now I could sit here and get all poetic and start talking about how we all stare things down. Those big problems, those big people or those big messes, but I don’t think that would do justice to the ultimate staring contest that ever took place. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about that.
The time is about about 11:55 a.m. and the entire town has been in an uproar all day. There is shouting coming from the inner parts of the city, but your attention is elsewhere because bothering yourself with the business of the city is never something that has interested you. The shutters to your windows have been open all day to let the breeze loft through and you overhear some of the passerby’s talking about this innocent fellow who is on trial. You find this absurd that an innocent man would be tried. This was because in Roman law the defendant’s guilt had to be as “clear as daylight” in order for the judge (Pilate in this instance) to convict. Your curiosity gets the best of you, so you start towards town when in what seems like an instant, the sky turns black, the ground shakes and a great outcry comes from all around the city. Trembling, you stumble towards the nearest torch you can see, but as you come closer there are these figures who look like those who once followed Jesus. Thoughts rush through your mind of what could be happening to cause such perplexing and miraculous things to be occurring all at once. Shouts ring out in the distance, “He is dead!”. “He?” you think to yourself, who is he? Shuffling through the dark still you find your way to Golgotha. There up on the hill are the three crosses. There is a sign on the middle cross that reads, “King of the Jews”. Remembering back to your days in the synagogue, you remember that there was supposed to be a king that would come and deliver the Jews from their oppressors with military might, but here is this man on a cross. As you turn around, light pierces back through the clouds and blinds you. When you open your eyes, you realize that man on the center cross is Jesus.
Jesus was innocent, but Pilot listened to the crowd. Jesus hung on the cross for everyone to see on top of that hill. The cross was intended to bring shame, but Jesus used it to save us. Jesus closest disciple and friend denied knowing Him three times, but yet He still loved Peter. Jesus was mocked by those who hung next to Him, but Jesus, even with some of His last breaths saved another soul because of their belief in Him. Jesus was hated by the high priests, but He tore the vial separating the Holy of Holy’s from everyone except the Priests.
Jesus stood in the face of death, adversity, trial, threats, hatred, scorn and even betrayal so that we could have communion with Him forever. In the face of all that go through, remember that Jesus is our rock, our shelter and provider of all that we have.
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