The Day the Cross Became Real to Me

"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again."  Matthew 27:28-30 (NIV)

Several years ago we attended an evening Easter service at our church. It was a reinactment of the the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I was delighted to be seated on the aisle seat so that I had a perfect view. At one point in the play, "Jesus" carried a large wooden cross down the center aisle. He was followed by two Roman soldiers who where beating his already bloodied back with whips. (They were actually hitting the wooden cross with the whips, not the actor.) The room was dark, the makeup and the sound of the whips cracking and hitting the cross made it all seemed very real.

As they reached the place where I was sitting, tears were streaming down my face at the thought of what Jesus had to endure to so that I might be forgiven. Just then one of the soldiers raised his whip and struck the cross again, but they were so close to where I was sitting that the end of the leather strap whipped back and hit me on the arm. It hurt - really hurt, and I realized the pain I felt could not even begin to compare the pain and suffering that Jesus took upon himself in order to bring salvation to us.

From that day forward, every Easter reminds me of His incredible love for us - and all because I got just a tiny, tiny taste of what He went through that day.

Father, it was your incredible love for mankind that caused you to send Jesus, your only Son to earth, to live as a man, to set a perfect example, then to be crucified for our sins that we might receive forgiveness and have a renewed relationship with you. As we remember His incredible sacrifice, may our hearts be humbled and may we reach out to Him and invite Him to come into our hearts and be our Lord and Savior forever. Amen
(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

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