When I see Jesus holding his cross with his face pressed against it, I see him holding me in my most wretched form; a sinner. He endured agony I can not imagine, nor would I ever want to have to endure.
He was led into a crowded courtyard.
Spectators stood by waiting for what, a show?
The scourging ripped open the flesh on his back. Blood spewed from his veins like water from a broken pipe. He should have bled to death, but he held on.
Why hold on?
He was led out of the courtyard. The people shook their head. Comments were flung out like dirty rags on a hot summer day, “He got what he deserved. He should not have opposed God’s authority figures. He had been warned over and over, and he just could not keep his mouth shut.”
The soldiers led him to a holding cell and made fun of him even more. They beat him and pulled out his beard. They spit in his face and mocked him. He did not open his mouth. They put a crown of thorns on his head and pounded it down until he bled from the puncture wounds. (Isaiah 52:14 “Just as many were appalled at him, because he was so disfigured that he didn’t even seem human and simply no longer looked like a man.”)
He held his tongue and didn’t try to stop them.
He was sentenced to death by his own, rejected as if God himself had washed his hands of this man.
He was led like an animal to a place where he was forced carry a cross. He held it close. His face touched it without flinching.
It represented my filth. The sins that caused him pain beyond endurance was that very thing that he embraced as he stumbled up the hill.
After he was mounted on high for display, he made a statement that should cause every heart to cringe at sin. He simply said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“What do I do, Jesus, that held you on that cross? My heart begs for change, a prayer that only God can answer.”
When he held the cross close, he was holding me close to his heart.
John 5:39 “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,” — Jesus