It was intense. And personal. And I didn't want to be in that crowd gawking at a painful dying process. But God didn't hide the suffering or the shame of the crucifixion of His only beloved Son. His redemptive plan was meant to draw us in - to show us the cost of our sin. A price He charged to His only Son. For me. And for you.
We have a choice. We can remain ghoulish and watch while we keep our distance. Or we can own what is ours. Our sins - every one of them, and our sin - our nature that makes it impossible to live a pure enough life to meet God's standards of holiness.
Jesus gave Himself up to hands that would beat him mercilessly, mouths that would spew hatred and spittle, and arms that would raise a sledge hammer to drive spikes into hands that were used to bless and to heal others and into feet that carried Him to the lost and the dying. And to the cross.
All He asks in return is a heart full of repentance and faith. A heart willing to be open to His unspeakable gift of forgiveness and love. Unconditional love. If there had been only one person in need of a Savior, He would have endured the cross for that one soul.
Pride would cause us to close our eyes and walk away from accepting our part in Jesus' death. Pride is deadly. And a pride that refuses to believe in God's redemptive plan and be humbled enough to receive it leads to the second death from which there is no return.
My prayer for anyone reading these words is for your eyes to be open to a love only God could bestow. And for your heart to be willing to simply acknowledge Jesus as God's only Son, recognize that we are all sinners, ask for forgiveness of your sins and invite Jesus into your heart.
The Son of God will return. This time in glory.