“Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him were taunting Him.
~ Mark 15:32
I just had to get my mind off this oppressive heat. Even though I had left early for my morning walk, the air was thick and somewhat torturing. One by one the young Marine recruits sprinted past me, with the prompting of the officers. There was no one to give me the extra push I needed to keep going. But, keep going I did. I remembered to focus on Jesus.
I thought within myself, who cheered Jesus on His path to Calvary? His brow had to be heavy with sweat that day. Mixed with blood, it ran down his face and pooled into His eyes. Sweat stings when it gets in your eyes. He was bruised, beaten to a pulp, and in a weakened condition, yet He kept going. He even had the added weight of a heavy cross. Taunting words were the only cheers heard that day. The people wanted this crucifixion to remove a religious radical, but also the ecstasy of gore was a crowd pleasing sport of sorts.
Did Jesus hear above the mocking words, encouraging words of His Father, in His ear? As He was trudging up the hill that day did God speak these words? “Keep going my Son. I am so proud of you. You are not alone. I am with you. We will do this together, you and I. We have a plan of love. Each step you take brings us closer and closer to our mission. I love you. Keep going, keep going!”
If we as Christians were to see in our minds, every day, Jesus’ experience of pain and death, and were to experience remorse for our part in it, we would never receive our due punishment. It is unfathomable that Christ died for us.
This is why it is important to take communion, so that we can remember the body that was broken and the blood that was shed for us. We should never become desensitized to this act of love. When we take communion our thoughts should be, “Jesus, this bread represents the body that I broke, with my sins. Lord this wine represents the blood that I caused you to spill. I am the one with the hammer in my hand, pounding those nails into yours. I am the criminal taunting you. Forgive me. I am so deeply sorry for my part in your crucifixion.” You see, when we take it personally, it means so much more.
So on my walk, I went six times around the track at my speed, and the young marines only three. I am three times their age, but with God cheering in my ear, and reminding me of His grueling walk, my walk was quite literally, “a walk in the park.” My suffering was more like a little splinter in the hand, compared to Christ’s death for the sins of the whole world. Overwhelmed, I began to cry, and soon my task was almost accomplished.
Jesus’ task was accomplished, the day he walked up that hill, and gave His life willingly for a sinner like me. The last thing I needed to do before I mounted my bike for the ride home, was to thank Him. I knelt there and prayed in that park. Those Marines probably thought I had lost my mind; an older woman crying and kneeling, but I didn’t care, I was humbled at the gift Jesus gave us, the day He walked to Calvary. So I sent up my cheers of gratitude.
Dear Savior, Thank you for your unspeakable gift. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert