Jesus crucified is the true touchstone revealing what the world is: “The people stood beholding” in stolid indifference; the rulers, who wanted religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins, “reviled”: the brutal amongst them mocked or railed; the conscious sinner prayed; the covetous sat down before the cross and played their sordid games. The cross is the judgment of this world. (Rev. C. I. Scofield)
I’ve been reading the daily accounts of Jesus’ footsteps this week, following along as He rides triumphantly into the city, cleanses the temple, preaches, prays… As I think of the disciples, I try to put myself in their place. They saw so much: Jesus healing; Jesus stopping the Pharisees with his words of wisdom; Jesus, as he raised the dead! And now this! All their hopes and dreams are lying trampled in the dirt. They thought He would usher them right into His kingdom; but instead, He was arrested, brutally beaten and whipped, mocked, and most humiliating of all: crucified like a common thief!
Yesterday, I stopped to see my mom. I knocked on the garage door. No answer. I looked in the window of the garage and saw her car, so I knew she was home. I walked to the front door. No answer. Now I believe my mom will live to be a hundred (don’t we all!), but that moment, a horrible dread went through me. Where was Mom! What would I find when I got inside? I stopped and thought how everything could change in that moment. Then I walked to the side porch thinking she might be working out back. That’s when I heard the piano. What a welcome beautiful sound!
For about thirty-six hours, the disciples experienced that dread of the unknown. It was over. What would happen next? Would they all be arrested for treason against the temple? What would become of them? Then, early in the morning of the first day of the week, they heard the news. Could it be true? Many still doubted, but then He was there in their midst with those reassuring words: “Peace be unto you.” What a welcome beautiful sound!
Some may be indifferent to the greatest story ever told; others will count the revenue they can make on this holiday weekend like those who “sat down before the cross and played their sordid games”; some will gather in their places of worship like the rulers, having “religion, but without a divine Christ crucified for their sins”; some mock us, dear Christian and rail on our beliefs – we take the Bible too literally, they say; but the conscious sinner will pray at the cross and walk away rejoicing that his sins are gone because He is Risen! Praise the Lord!!! Hallelujah! What a Savior!!!
…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
John 20: 29a-31