Sunday, February 24, 2013
NAILED TO THE CROSS
by Gloria Phifer
The charges of sins were held before me and the verdict was guilty…there was no way out. I was condemned and judged to die. The verdict of death would be carried out.
I must live under the penalty and fear of death until the time came for me to pay the price of my sin. I stumbled beneath the load of guilt and shame. There was no one else to help, no one else to blame. Life was a terrible burden to bear. I was a slave to sin.
A man called Jesus was condemned to die, although in truth, no one could lay a sin at His feet. He bore the lashes on His back as He was struck again and again. The sharp pieces on the end of the whip cut into His flesh. Still the love in His eyes, the purpose of His step, never slowed. He was shown contempt, the contempt given to one low classed and condemned.
The thorns were placed on His head and pressed down, digging into His forehead and scalp. He bore it without complaint. He was made to carry the instrument of His death over His shoulder and back, which were bleeding from the lashes. He bore the burden as He struggled on the path to His death.
He was stripped from all dignity and exposed to the world. They left Him no modesty. Laying Him upon the cross, His hands and feet knew the cruelty of foreign objects, nailing Him to the cross. He was swung into the air as the cross was lifted and dropped into place. The agony of the hours began and still there were the cruel insults and taunts of unfeeling men.
I watched this unbelievable scene, wanting to turn away to hide my face because of the hurt and pain. I was powerless to help Him. Must I watch Him die? All creation felt the same. A great stillness pervaded the air. The grass and leaves on the trees were still, as the stillness before a storm.
I looked up at this Man hanging on the instrument of death and I thought of my own penalty of death that I bore everyday. He was dying, but had He sinned at I?
I noticed a soiled parchment nailed to His cross; it was nailed to the same wood as He. Thinking I would find out the charges against Him, I came closer. Instead of His name, I saw my own and underneath were all the charges listed against me. I wanted to tear it from the cross and hide it so it would not be seen. As I reached to pull it off, I noticed something strange. The blood from the Man on the cross was falling on my list of sins and every time a drop fell it was blotting out what was written there. As I watched, the list turned red with His blood and what had been held against me was completely blotted out.
I felt His eyes upon me. I looked up through tears. I knew from His look and the love in His eyes, this agony He bore was for me. I knew in the deepest part of me that this Man was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior and Lover of my soul.
He had bore my shame so I could be free. He had been treated low classed so I could be valuable. For my sins I tried so desperately to hide from view, He openly bore for me on the cross. All my hurts, disappointments and shame, He bore that day so I could be set free. When He cried, “It is finished,” the penalty for my sin was paid. He was wounded and I am healed. He was bound and I am set free. He chose death so I can choose eternal life…life in all its abundance because of what He accomplished on the cross.
He is risen and He ever lives to make intercession for me. His task on the cross has been finished. Still He intercedes for me until all the work He accomplished on the cross is working in my life. This work will continue in my life: cleansing me, purifying me, giving me right standing with God, and giving me wonderful privileges as His child. His work literally flows through me ,as blood flows through my veins, giving me life, setting me free from the penalty of sin and death. How marvelous. How awe-inspiring. Will I ever understand completely the wonderful wisdom of God Who set this plan in motion? Will I ever completely understand the love and care that instituted grace for me?
Colossians 3:13 & 14.