I've been thinking a lot about the Crucifixion lately, trying to change my heart toward that former friend I blogged about last week. I had no compassion for him or the fact that he is likely to be going to hell when he dies. How can I be so callus? I wanted to remember that I too am a sinner, that I am no better then he. That he and I both nailed Jesus to a cross.
So I focused on how I was one of the people who sat in a field and listened to Him preach. How I followed behind Him as He left Jericho full of excitement that the political atmosphere might change. Waving a palm branch as He entered Jerusalem for Passover, heard the children cry out "Hosanna to the Son of David!" How scared I felt when I heard Him criticise the leadership I relyed upon and realized how much I would have to change to follow Him. How I hide in the corner to see Him brought out, chained. How I eagerly chanted "Barabbas!" when they asked us who should go free. How I excited I was to shout "Crucify HIM!" with the mob. How early I got to the parade route so I could see Him walk by dragging His cross, covered in His own blood. How I stood in the safety of the crowd to watch His mother cry for Him, how I could smell His body fail Him as they put the nails in his hands and feet.
But then He reminded me of something else...He reminded me that when He was preaching in the fields He was preaching to me. That He was rejoicing with me as we entered Jerusalem. That when He was explaining how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to the Pharisees, He was explaining it to me. How when He was in the garden praying before arrest, He was praying for me. How He heard my voice in the crowd but didn't dispare because He knew I would come to love Him. How He saw me in the crowd as He passed by but didn't hate me as He should. And how He chose to be utterly humiliated on a cross so that when I felt humiliated I could think about how He felt the same and understood my pain. And how when He asked His Father to forgive us, He meant me.