Friday, March 25, 2016

the road to the Cross

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

The road was long and tough.  It seemed the weight of the world grew with every step, but the weight of those looking on and the beam across His shoulders had to be almost unbearable.  Obviously, I had a difficult time understanding what was going on.

Humble beginnings would be an understatement for Jesus.  He was born to common parents in what was an uncommon way.  They weren’t home where it was comfortable surrounded by family.  The trip they were on was a mandate from the government, but it all ended in a good way.  That was an amazing fact.

The sky was clearer than ever.  The visitors from the start seemed to be sent from God Himself, and Jesus though born in insignificance was worshipped as the son of the most high.  That was just the start.

This road continued for three decades with so many events, people and shocking situations that there are way to many to share.  It wasn’t until the last few years of His life that Jesus began to do what He shared was His purpose and that was totally directed by His father.  That father definitely was not Joseph the carpenter. 

Miracles happened.  People were healed.  Some changed jobs and seemingly walked away from everything to spend time with Jesus.  They were together all the time, and the situations this group found themselves in was anything but common.  Lives were changed for eternity because of what Jesus did and said.

Yet this road, this last road of His life was painful.  He was arrested after one of His own turned his back on Jesus and turned Him in to the people that wanted Jesus silenced.  They would stop at nothing, and surprisingly they had huge support.

Just a few days before the supporters were so excited that Jesus came to town.  He entered on a different by near road.  It was similar to the coming to town of a dignitary with pomp and circumstance of parades, loud shouting, smiles and so much more.  That didn’t last long.  The praise turned to chanting curses.  The joy turned to anger.

What came next, the road that took what seemed like forever to walk, was short and pointed.  It took all following and Jesus to a hill outside the city but high for all to see.  Jesus has already been spit on, slapped, beaten and more.  But now he was nailed to the cross.

Along the road I cannot imagine all the thoughts the people, each and every person, had about Jesus and about their own lives in light of what this man said over and over.  Jesus was in great pain, but He was determined to continue because there was purpose His in mind and His gaze.  There was grace in His stumbling steps.

The road that led to the hill called Golgotha was paved with tears, pain and maybe even blood, but when they arrived on the hill that we call Calvary, the blood did not stop.  He was nailed to the cross timbers.  The timbers were put together in the shape of a cross.  The next few hours moved at the pace of a snail.  It may have seemed like days, not hours.  The road was one that has to be taken.  The cross was the destiny of our sin, and Jesus was the sent savior who has taken away the sins of the world.

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

I can only imagine what that road was like that very first Easter, but I am grateful.  His pain is our gain.  His grace paved the way for the mercy we have been shown.  His death and soon to be resurrection would build the foundation for our faith, endless faith with heaven as our destination because we didn’t have endure the cross.  Jesus did that for us.

Today we remember His death.  Sunday we will worship and remember His resurrection.  All of this the road that God placed before us so that we can come to God.  His love continues to flow from the road that took our friend and Savior to the cross.

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

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