As Jesus hung upon the cross, this Psalm was on his mind, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?” As lonely as this quarantine feels, it isn’t nearly as lonely as Jesus was upon the cross. His friends had nearly all abandoned Him. Only John, His mother, and a few of the women stood at the foot of the cross to be with Him. Despite some that would spend this time with Him, He alone would suffer for the sins of the world.
I’ve wondered what it would have been like standing at the foot of that cross. What did it mean to John, who had witnessed miracles, amazing wisdom, and the sheer power and presence of the Son of God, now to stand at the foot of this cross and watch Him die. What was that like? To think at any moment, the authorities who look his way and possible add him to the roster of those crucified that day.
What was it like to be there on the cross and see yourself surrounded by hosts of haters, catcalling and insulting you, mocking you, when you had all the power in the world to call down 12 legions of angels at any moment, both to rescue and execute judgment?
What was it like to be His mother, seeing the boy you raised hanging there and helpless to do anything about it?
There is a famous painting, I don’t remember the artist or the name of the painting, but it was a painting of the Crucifixion. Remarkable about the painting was that the artist included himself in the crowd. I think everyone single one of us was in that crowd. Each of us has passed judgment on the Son of God, and each of has mocked Him for the futility of His sacrifice, that is, until we knew how much He loves.
Standing at the foot of the cross on this Good Friday, I see all these things, the crosses, the guards, the mocking crowd, and the weeping friends and family. And I find my voice alternates between joining the crowd and weeping with His friends. He is dying for my sins, as well as for the sins of the world. Upon His shoulders lay my misdeeds and malfeasances. Upon Him, my sins are laid, to be paid for by His blood. I too survey the wondrous cross. I too grieve at what my sins have done to my Lord and my God. But what love is that that would shed this blood so freely? What love would give so generously for me? I know who I am and what I am worth, and I am not worth the spilling of this blood. Thankfully, His opinion differs from mine, because in His eyes, stained with tears and sorrow, saw me standing there, and paid for my sins.
Dear Jesus, I cannot repay what gift you’ve given to me. I cannot return to you an equal gift. But what I have is yours. If you would have me. All that I am is yours. It’s all I have. Thank You Jesus for giving Your precious perfect life to save someone like me.
May God bless you this Friday.