In the penultimate edition of our ‘Saviour’ devotional series, Lorna Wilkinson brings us to the letter ‘U’, and encourages us to ponder our place in the crucifixion account ✝️🎭. In a famous hymn, we are presented with a short but profound question: “Were YOU there when they crucified my Lord?”
The prophet Isaiah foretold the cruel manner in which the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, would die - “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth” Isaiah 53:9.
Jesus’ love for us brought Him from the glory of heaven, fully aware that He would endure the agony and torture of the cross. After the soldiers had crucified Him, we read, “Then they sat down and kept watch over him there” Matthew 27:36.
In the ‘Journey to the Heart of Easter’ booklet, produced by Our Daily Bread, an extract from one of the reflections by Henry G Bosch reads, “When you study the painting of the crucifixion by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt, your attention is first drawn to the cross and to Jesus. Then, as you look at the crowd around the cross, you are drawn to the faces of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes drift to the edge of the picture and catch sight of another figure – almost hidden in the shadows. This, we are told, was a self-portrait of Rembrandt, for he recognised that by his sins he helped nail Jesus there! Think again of Rembrandt’s painting. If you look closely you will see in the shadows, you too are standing with bloodied hands, for Christ bore the penalty of your sin! And you will say, ‘By his wounds we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5).”🩸🤲🏻
The Saviour’s death presents us with the same choice faced by the two robbers crucified side-by-side with Him. One ridiculed Him but the other recognised that He was who He claimed to be, and received forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life: ‘And he [Jesus] said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” ‘ Luke 23:43 🌅.
We all should ponder which of the robbers represents our relationship with Jesus ✋🏻❤️.
“How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure. How great the pain of searing loss – The Father turns His face away, As wounds which mar the Chosen One, Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders; Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers. It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished; His dying breath has brought me life – I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything, No gifts, no power, no wisdom; But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer; But this I know with all my heart – His wounds have paid my ransom.”
(Listen online 🎶: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzQj7XvKFmA)