Imagine you were one of the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus on the cross. How would you feel?
Lenten Seasons are great periods of time to reflect on the story at Calvary. Aren’t you glad to be reminded of Jesus on the cross every now and then?
But what if you and I nailed Jesus to the cross? Let me show how it goes.
1. Revisit the Cross.
Watching The Passion of the Christ (directed by Mel Gibson) gives us a gruesome depiction of the crucifixion in a motion picture. It makes you feel you were there in a close encounter, seeing almost every wound, suffering, and pain of the blameless savior.
Such event is the brutal end of the Roman death penalty through an execution at the cross. The soldiers were just doing their common duty to implement their law after due process.
But in the Jewish tradition, there is an operating law that goes beyond the human law of the land: the spiritual law of the holy God. Any single violation of that law means the death penalty. As it says, “The soul who sins shall die.”
The truth is, we are the ones who shall be crucified. The only payment for our sins is death. As Paul’s letter to the Romans says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
2. Reflect at the Cross.
If the cross of Christ is a death penalty for the sins of all humanity, it directly means Jesus was sentenced to die on the cross because of you and me.
If I take it personally, it actually means I crucified the savior. I’m the one who nailed him to the cross. When the Roman soldiers put those nails upon the hands and feet of Jesus, it was because of my sin, not just theirs. We did it all.
There’s no mistake. God’s hatred and wrath to sinners like us bring death upon our heads. There is nothing good in us that make us earn His mercy and grace. In short, we are enemies of God, even “enemies of the cross of Christ.”
3. Receive the Christ.
The crux of the reality is: we are all spiritually dead and deserving only death. In fact, we cannot do anything to save ourselves—not even with our good works, or else Christ’s death is an insufficient sacrifice and he died for nothing.
If I think that I can earn God’s salvation by my own means, am I not insulting God who offered His Son to die for my sins? Am I not telling Him to His face, you need my help?
Thankfully, Christ on the cross is enough. Why? “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who received Christ and those who rejected Him.
St John says, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Which one are you?
If you have not received and completely believed in Christ as your Savior and Lord, does it mean God’s Spirit is not yet working in you?
For if you did receive and believe, it only means His Spirit made you alive first for a spiritually dead person cannot respond to the message of the cross. The cross is even “foolishness” for that spiritually lifeless person.
But what seems to be the worst tragedy in history is the greatest redemption story. God loves you enough to send His Son on the cross to pay the price.
Glenn Plastina © 2017