I imagine Mary as she stood and watched. I imagine the centurion who becomes a believer mentioned in the accounts of Luke and Mark. I imagine the wicked men gambling for Jesus’ clothing. The crowd. The criminals on His left and right. Mary Magdalene.
It’s a scene I can hardly take in.
But, I can’t imagine Jesus. My mind is just too limited. The pain. The knowledge that he could save himself if he so chose, but instead took my sin and your sin and died. It’s overwhelming and unfathomable.
I was later unpacking some books and found my Jesus Storybook Bible. I paused, deciding to read this account too. Because the truth is…I couldn’t get all the nuances and questions out of mind. Each account is a bit different, and I kept wondering exactly how the day unfolded. Exactly what the jeerers and the sneerers said…exactly what Mary thought and said…exactly how Jesus endured.
They nailed Jesus to the cross.
“Father, forgive them,” Jesus gasped. “They don’t understand what they’re doing.”
“You say you’ve come to rescue us!” people shouted. “But you can’t even rescue yourself!”
But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side – if he’d called.
“If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!” they said.
And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said the word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people.
But Jesus stayed.
You see, they didn’t understand. It wasn’t nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.
from the Jesus Storybook Bible
That line…It wasn’t nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.
That was it for me. That cleared my heart and mind. I suddenly stopped wondering and pondering each nuance of the story – I stopped with all the whys and hows…my heart settled. Peace.
Because at the heart of it all – in the face of all the questions – It was love.
Love walked him down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. Love kept him on the cross.
Love for me – for you.
And that, friends, is more than enough.
Sunday is coming…