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Two days ago, I watched the Passion of the Christ.
I like to watch it every year on Good Friday, even though it is the most brutal and graphic depiction of the crucifixion story I have ever seen.
I normally cannot bear violent or gruesome films. But I choose to watch this film every year, because I reckon if Jesus was able to suffer what he suffered for me, then I can at least watch Mel Gibson’s moving depiction of what he (Jesus), may have experienced.
It renews my sense of awe and gratitude. It increases my love and devotion for him. It puts into perspective all that I have suffered in my life. It is nothing! Compared to him.
It challenges me to take up my cross and follow him, without protest, without murmuring, without attitude.
And I know it was not just the physical pain of a cruel death. It was not just the shame of an accursed way of dying. It was not just the humiliation of the crown of thorns, the mocking reverence, the vile spitting and hitting.
It was not just the outright rejection of a people who should have accepted him, celebrated and served him. It was not just the agony of oppressive fears and debilitating weakness, the psychological trauma as he tussled through prayer in Gethsemane.
But what touches me most, is the unseen, unreported, unimaginable horrors.
The utter abandonment of his beloved Father, as Jesus hung upon that cross with the weight of every man’s sin, sickness and sorrow upon his already feeble frame.
It is his transformation from the Anointed One, to Sin & Depravity Personified. No wonder Isaiah tells us that his face and figure were so marred—he was beyond recognition as a human being!
It is the sense of total isolation from his beloved Father as he experienced the spiritual separation, which was our lot, our legacy that Adam had passed down to us when he committed treason.
And it is the descending into Hades, to taste on our behalf the eternal punishment, to which Adam’s sin had sentenced the entire world, through one single act of disobedience.
It is the horrors Jesus suffered for three days, at the hands of Satan and his diabolical accomplices, whilst his spirit, soul and body lay within their evil territory and at their merciless mercy.
Did he wonder whether the wrath and damnation he was suffering on our behalf would actually be enough?
Did he fear that God might not be sufficiently appeased?
And just as he was before Pilate and before his disingenuous accusers, did he remain dumb as a sheep before its shearer, in that rancid, rabid place of evil? Was he still silent before Satan and his cohorts, as they cackled and cawed over their prize catch – the Son of God, in Hell!?
How they must have partied. How they must have taunted him. How they must have gloated that the one to whom they’d at one time been subservient, now lay powerless within their power, was now at their beck and call.
But I imagine and take comfort at the thought that perhaps the Word of God came to Jesus’ aid and brought some form of solace.
I take comfort at the thought and imagine He would have remembered the prophetic line from Psalms, about God not allowing the body of his Holy One to see corruption… that He would have remembered he’d committed his spirit into his Father’s hands when he willingly surrendered his life.
I like to think that Jesus consoled himself with the knowledge that whilst Satan might believe he has won, God is able to recall his spirit, to resurrect his soul. He could therefore trust his Father to rescue him, spirit soul and body. I take comfort in imagining this.
Because never before did any human have to have such faith in God and trust him to do what he had promised (to raise him from the dead), as Jesus my precious Lord and Saviour had had to have faith, and had had to trust God. Rightly is he named the Captain of our Salvation, the Author and Finisher of our Faith!
And today, we know and celebrate the wonderful ending of that terrible story. Today we rejoice that our Saviour has indeed been raised from the dead and now lives for evermore!
Today we celebrate that Jesus went from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky and now he sits in glory with a name and reputation so esteemed, so high, that the indignity of his maltreatment, the pain and shame of his crucifixion, the imprisonment of his soul in hell, can never erase.
Hail to the King of kings and Lord of Lords! Hail to King Jesus my Saviour. He’s alive!
Wishing you all a Happy Easter!
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
Author of: Petitions From My Heart
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