The following writing contains explicit expressions, as it relates to the crucifixion suffered by Christ. While discomforting, the brutal reality of sins penalty reveals the wondrous depths of God’s love for us.
Knowing his fate, he entered the garden. It was there in a place of fellowship with God that his communion with man would come to an end.
Soldiers came – close friends fled his side. The time had come. The road to death and sacrifice was before him. Reluctant in the flesh, yet eager and willing in the spirit, he cried to God, “Not as I will, but as you will.” Once begun there would be no release. The penalty of sin would be brutal – this journey to death would move quickly and would be one he must travel alone.
Clothes rent, tied to a post, his back was torn. The rhythmic count of the whip lashing upon his exposed back was the only sound to be heard above the blood thirsty cries of the crowd.
No justification for his death, Pilate washed his hands. The crowd chanted as the most notorious of sinners was released from the bonds of eternal punishment; all in exchange for the life of the spotless “Lamb of God” being led to the slaughter. Innocent in the hands of brutal soldiers he was mocked and stripped naked for all to see.
Upon his arrival to earth, wise men honored him with treasure – upon his death, blinded fools would crown him with a crown of thorns.
The very same mouth that had spoken words of life and taught mortal men the ways of a righteous God, was mockingly slapped and punched. Lips that had once spoken to the storms, saying, “Peace, be still,” were now swollen shut from the hatred of sin’s furry. This man, who called Lazarus back to life, would now be silent unto death.
Dusty roads, once filled with the feet of those running to see his miracles, would become crowded with those seeking his death. On his knees he fell – the cross heavy upon his back. The dry dirt beneath him quickly gathered up precious drops of blood and sweat, still thirsty for more.
There, at the height of a hill, for all to see, it would happen – this spectacle of shame. In a demonstration like no other, the very son of God would be murdered at the hands of his creation.
Fighting the urge to resist, he willingly lay upon a cross. He starred through swollen eyes at the face of the one who swung the hammer. His hand helplessly clinched in pain around the very nail that pierced it. The deafening sound of the striking hammer filled his ears – ears that had once heard the sounds of children happily running and the laughter shared with his disciples.
His body convulsed and his lungs rapidly fought for air as the cross was lifted into place. Although in pain beyond measure, he was still very much aware. He overheard the laughs and whispers of the onlookers. He heard the soldiers, as they jokingly gambled for the robe of this supposed, “King of the Jews.”
His fears and expectations had been greatly exceeded. The sting of death was overwhelming. His muscles cramped in dehydration as he helplessly fought to find a position that would bring the slightest of relief – it would not be found.
The muscles in his legs shook uncontrollably as the weight of his body rested upon the broad nail that pierced his feet, eerily holding them in place. The excruciating pain was immeasurable. His mouth widened and gasped as if to ease the pain and show forth proof that life still remained within him.
Blood from his open wounds mixed with his pouring sweat, covering his entire body. He was unrecognizable. His bruised and swollen features no longer showed the beauty of the man seen feeding the hungry multitudes on a hillside. The face that once carried a warm smile was now gripped with the anguish of death. Time slowly passed, allowing adequate time for the torturous effects of each living moment that remained.
His movements began to settle, except for the momentary convulsions and cries of pain. Death was approaching him, along with it the visual demonstration of his submission and invite. The drops of life giving blood slowly began to cease.
His mind was flooded with human emotions, and divine realities. At the height of a hill, raised above the on-looking crowds, he gazed over his creation through tear-filled eyes. The clouds grew dark and the coming wind filled the air with dust as the crowd quickly dispersed at the sign of the incoming storm.
Looking down upon his body for the last time, he saw his purpose come to pass. Loves unending journey had brought him here. Fighting to speak, he raised his head towards heaven and declared, “It is finished.”
As life quickly faded for one, it was becoming available for all. Sin’s rightful penalty now hung lifeless upon that cross. The earth shook in acceptance, the veil of separation from God was torn, the gates of hell were invaded, and death found itself defenseless against the power of eternal life.
“Finished” was the penalty and bondage of sin. “Finished” was the separation of man from his beloved creator. Even today, the beautiful fragrance of life fills the air, as the resonating voice of Jesus can still be heard saying; “It is finished.”
Dwayne Harris is the founder of Fresh Outpouring Ministries, Inc. and is an Evangelist and Missionary. He is an Ordained Minister within the Church of God of Cleveland Tenn. and the speaker of the “Message in a Minute” web based devotional video series. For more information visit: http://www.freshoutpouring.com