Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin
Stuart K. Hine - How Great Thou Art
The journey of Jesus takes us from the Passover meal with followers, to the Garden of Gethsemane where our Lord is arrested and then endures a night-long ordeal in a mock trial before priests and teachers of the law. The next morning He is lead to stand before Pilate, who, although declaring, I find no basis for a charge against him (John 19:6), nonetheless condemns Him to die--a brutal death upon a Roman cross.
The steps of Jesus take Him from the courtyard of Pilate along the Via Dolorosa to a hill called Calvary. In the Gospel of Luke, we read, When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left (Luke 23:33).
Tears filled my eyes as I read again the account of the crucifixion, as in my mind's eye I see the agony of my Lord as the nails are driven into His hands and feet. I want to turn away, but my gaze is fixed on the blood-stained cross.
I hear Him speak His final words, a cry of triumph, It is finished (John 19:30), as He surrenders to death, and I know it was through His death that I have been forgiven, set free, reconciled to the Father.
The word of the hymwriter come to mind:
Was it for crimes that I have done, He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown and love beyond degree. (Isaac Watts - At the Cross)
I know in part, it was my sins that sent the Lord Jesus to the cross; there was no there other way for me to be redeemed. His suffering was the cost of my salvation. He was pierced for my transgressions, he was crushed for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me peace was on him, and by his wounds I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).
I marvel again the depth of God's love for me. 45 years, Good Friday, 1977, God intercepted my life and I am forever grateful.
My friends at Valley, as you reflect on the cross, as we journey from Friday to Sunday, may your heart be melted, by a deep sense of humility and gratitude for what Christ has done for you. May we joyfully shout on
Easter morning, HE IS RISEN!