07 February 2009

Jesus before Pilate


Let me ask you: With whom do you most identify in the events of this dark day? Of the many onlookers and participants in these scenes, whose actions are most like your own, if somehow you were there?

For some it might be Peter, weeping bitterly in the predawn hours as the weight of his denial of the Lord bore down upon him. For others it might in some way be the passerby Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry Jesus' cross for Him. Others would identify with the women who were the followers of Jesus. . . . Some would perhaps choose Mary, His mother, who was "standing by the cross of Jesus," enduring such pain. Or the disciple John, who also was "standing nearby" and whom Jesus spoke to from the cross. Or the penitent thief, who from his own cross cried out to the Savior in faith, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Or the centurion who, after watching how Jesus died, was moved to say, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

But let me tell you whom I identify with.

I identify most with the angry crowd screaming, "Crucify Him!"

That's whom we should all identify with. Because apart from God's grace, this is where we would all be standing, and we're only flattering ourselves to think otherwise. Unless you see yourself standing there with the shrieking crowd, full of hostility and hatred for the holy and innocent Lamb of God, you don't really understand the nature and depth of your sin or the necessity of the cross.

--C.J. Mahaney, Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, 86-87

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