"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they
do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
Why would God become man, suffer the inhumane treatment of his peers, and die on the cross for my sins? If it was for my sins, He died, am I guilty of His blood? Was it my fault He died? Is the cross then, a symbol of shame?
Billy Joel, a popular musician said: "I wasn't raised Catholic, but I used to go to mass with my friends, and I viewed the whole business as a lot of very enthralling hocus-pocus. There's a guy... nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everyone's blaming themselves for that man's torment, but I said to myself, 'Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin. There's no blood of any sacred martyr on my hands. I pass on all of this."(Fresh Illustrations: http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Is Joel right not to blame himself for the cross? Or is Jesus' blood on his hands-and mine?
How do you view the cross? Is it a source of shame to you? Or is it a symbol of victory?
Jesus did not go to the cross without serious forethought. Just a few weeks ago, we explored the prayer He prayed in Gethesemane. In that prayer, He agonized over His future and our destiny.
Persistently, Jesus prayed, " . . .if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt." For over an hour, He agonized in the garden, pouring out His soul to His Father.
What happened? What did God say in response to Jesus' prayer in the Garden? He said "no," I can't take this cup from you, but "yes" My will will be done.
Jesus walked from the garden into the hands of the enemy, who beat Him, mocked Him, and hung Him on the cross. He drank of the cup-it did not pass from Him. He experienced His worst nightmare, and when He did, He defeated sin, death, and the grave and made new life possible to all who believe.
No one forced Him to the cross. He went willingly.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." When you hear that verse, do you picture the Father making a decision that the Son didn't participate in, or do you see the unity of the triune God making a decision?
Jesus went willingly. He wasn't forced. He chose to go.
But do you think He ever regretted His decision to go to the cross?
In 1996, Surrey British Columbia teen Kerry-Jo Klingbeil was awarded the Medal of Bravery by Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc for pushing a friend out of the path of a tow-truck.
Kerry-Jo was 11, in 1995, when she pushed Amanda Horne, 7, out of the truck's path in Arthur, near Kitchener, Ontario. However, during the rescue attempt, Kerry-Jo was caught under the tractor-trailer's rear wheels and received serious head injuries.
The accident left Kerry-Jo seriously disfigured and mentally and physically disabled. Six years later, the 17-year-old's family sued the friend and her parents for millions of dollars.
The lawsuit, claimed the
Hornes family failed to supervise Amanda properly, or to instruct her on
how to cross a road safely. Further, the claim said Kerry-Jo was "compelled"
to "rescue" Amanda. But Amanda's family disagree. They say Kerry-Jo was
injured because of her own negligence and that she did not have to rescue