(The following entry gets a little graphic, so just be aware of that.)
Did you know that even if you were the only person on earth that Jesus would have come to set you free by dying on the cross? Have you heard that before? Do you believe that? I do! I know how much trouble God went through to pursue me to the very bottom before He could get my attention. And if He loves me that much…I know, without a doubt, that if I was the only man on the face of the earth Jesus would have come down to rescue me. Rescue me from eternal separation from God, so that we could have fellowship anytime and anywhere. Then I get to thinking…what does that mean?
Well, that means that since there would be no other humans on earth, the Father would find a way to send Jesus here. And since there would be no other humans on earth, I would be His disciple…His follower. He would teach me amazing things. We would fellowship together, eat and drink together. There would be laughter, tears, wonderment and awe. I would try to walk on water as He calls me to Himself on the sea. I would also be the betrayer. With nobody else on the face of the earth my part in the story would include condemning Jesus with my words. It would be with my sword and authority that I would arrest Jesus. Then my mind would reel as I would proclaim… “I find no guilt in this man.” The very next words out of my mouth would be yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Finally, I would sentence Him to die. It would be me who flogged Jesus, beating Him, ripping His flesh, blood oozing out of his body as I mock Him, laugh and press a crown of thorns onto the top of His head digging into His skull. I would lead Him up the Via De La Rosa to Golgotha where my own hands would nail His hands and His feet to the cross. Each time the hammer hit the nail and He would wince in pain and cry out, I would wonder what am I doing and why?! Tears would stream down my face…but I would continue. Then by whatever power I had…I would stand the cross and as it fell in place, His body would be jolted and again He would wince in suffering. Then I would step back and look up. Finding my sword nearby, I would pierce His side and blood and water would flow out. Tears would flow more freely down my face. I now know what I’m doing, but I can’t stop it! But then Jesus…hanging on that cross…looks up into the heavens and says, “Father forgive George, for he thinks he knows…but he knows not what he’s doing.” The day grows dark… there’s an earthquake and it is so severe that I’m not able to stand. Jesus again cries out to the Father… “It is finished!” And then silence. Total quiet. It is deafening. It is the most incredible stillness I’ve ever heard. I want to feel complete guilt, but I heard the words that Jesus spoke…He asked the Father to forgive me. And if God could forgive me…who am I to not forgive myself? Am I better than God? May it NEVER be!
I believe that’s what God would have done if I was the only man on the face of the earth. That’s what He would have done if you were the only man or woman on the planet. He loves me and you that much. When it comes right down to it…we did go through everything I’ve just shared. Because it was our sin, past, present and future sin, that put Him on that cross! But, thankfully, the story doesn’t end there.
After Jesus has breathed His last breath, I realize I can’t just leave Him there. I must take His body and put it in a tomb. So, I take it down, wrap His body in a burial cloth and bury His body in the tomb meant for me. Then I roll a giant stone in front of it.
So now what? I wait. I can’t believe what I have just been through. My emotions are shot. My fear comes and goes. Would the Father really forgive me? Jesus made the request after I had hung Him on a cross. But how could He forgive something that evil? I need to go check the tomb. I don’t know why…I just do. It has been three days now. But wait…what’s this? The stone has been rolled away! By who? I’m the only man on the face of the earth! This can’t be! There’s something bright inside the tomb…it’s an Angel of the Lord…He’s telling me that Jesus is alive! He rose just like He had talked about. My heart leaps and I can’t wait to see Him. There He is…in a glorified body! I fall at His feet! He says He loves me! Even after all I’ve done…He loves me, I AM forgiven and I can have fellowship with Him forever! Praise God!
Christ has risen…He has risen indeed!
Happy Easter! 2011