In honor of Easter, I wanted to share this. It is written in 1st person so read it as if it is you. Happy Easter!!!
Standing on a platform before a sea of people, my knees tremble. My hands are bound together and my feet are shackled. Angry faces stare accusingly up at me judging my actions and me personally.
A loud empty voice booms from my right stating my name and my town. Then the voice begins to list my every fault, my every shortcoming, and my every mistake. Tears well in my eyes spilling onto my cheeks. Guilt weighs heavy on my heart as the harsh voice continues to announce my every sin.
As the reading goes on and on, my eyes frantically search the crowd begging them to see my sorrow and repentance. Finally after what seems like an eternity, the reading ceases and the man rolls the scroll of my charges back up and steps back from the platform’s corner.
The judge stands addressing the crowd, “From the charges committed, what will the jury’s verdict be?” Noise erupts from the mass of people like the roaring of hungry lions. Screams of “guilty” are heard over the noise. People shout the forms of punishment that they see fit to ultimately kill me.
One voice rises above the others with a malice and bitterness surpassing the rest, “Crucifixion.” The crowd quiets their shrieking and only agreement is heard. The judge raises his hand to finish silencing the people and he says, “Is this your verdict? Does this sinner deserve crucifixion?”
The resounding, “yes” shakes my very being. My legs tremble and I clench my hands together trying to still the quivering of reality. Hearing the unanimous decision, the judge raises his staff into the air. Knowing what his gesture means, I fall to my knees shaking my clenched hands outstretched before me…begging. My throat strains with my screaming, “Please, no! I will do anything…please. No, no, no. I’m sorry! Please no! I’m sorry.” His staff bangs into the solid platform and he proclaims, “Crucifixion,” over my begging.
The tears run down my face pooling on the ground beneath me. The fear of being crucified paralyzes me, but above the fear is shame and sorrow. I know I deserve to be killed, I have sinned so many times outwardly, but even worse is my internal sins. I cry now not out of what is coming to me, but with regret over what I have done.
Soldiers haul me to my feet dragging me roughly to my death. Choked sobs of “I’m so sorry” spill out of me. I am so overwhelmed with emotion. My cross is laid out in front of me. Instead of seeing wood, I see every bad decision and every sinful thought and action I have ever committed and I know I deserve this; however, it does not make facing death any easier.
The guards lay me on top of the wood. They cut my bindings and stretch my arms out over the plank to tie down. My chest heaves from crying and tears trickle from the corners of my eyes. Hot pain erupts from my hands as nails are driven into my soft flesh. My vision blurs from the pain and screams I don’t recognize rip from my very core.
After I am properly secured to my cross, soldiers raise it sinking it into the ground. I feel every pound of my weight pulling me down. My shoulders burn from the effort of holding me up and warm blood makes my hands and feet sticky. Pain blinds me and I wish I could just pass out immediately, but I deserve to suffer. The tears that have yet to stop continue to trail down my cheeks. With the little bit of energy remaining I cry out, “I’m sorry, Father. Forgive me, I knew not what I was doing.”
Instantly, a man dressed in robes is before me with the purest eyes staring into mine. Despite the pain of my impending death and guilt of my sins, I share a smile with Him, a small knowing smile. Somehow, He lifts me from the cross into His arms and all of the pain stops. Fresh tears sting my eyes with the realization of who this is.
My Savior, my Father’s Son-Jesus.
Gathering me in His arms, He kisses my head and sets me ever so gently on the ground. Taking my hands in His, He smiles at me, “You are forgiven.” Then he touches my feet, “You are royalty.”
My palms and feet that were moments before marred by nails and blood are perfectly clean. Eyes shining with tears of thankfulness and joy, I look into my Savior’s eyes and whisper, “Why?”
Jesus smiles, “Because I love you.” He turns and walks back to my cross and climbs onto it. The nails once sealing me to my death are driven into His mighty hands. Jesus now hangs from my cross, taking it upon Himself to suffer and die for my sin. I cry again for what I have done and what Jesus did for me.
He takes my place on my cross in this beautiful exchange. True love beats in my heart and I whisper a “thank you” that will never compare.