It still bothers me. It still bothers me to read the account of the passion of Christ. 20 years and more of living for Christ, having read the Bible over time and time again, I still cannot read the story of the crucifixion of Jesus without being deeply affected by it. It can never be a mere text, for dissertation, for study or for preaching; it always shakes me. I cannot get away from the depth of humiliation and affliction Jesus went through so that you and I can have life, can be reconciled to God. And it set me thinking this morning about the value of our salvation.
Because of the price paid to achieve it, how can we not hold our relationship with God and fellowship with Him to be of greater value than all else? Is it any wonder then that in praying for those who had enjoyed this great salvation gathered together in the church at Colossae the apostle would ask that they live in a manner worthy of the Lord and that they be fully pleasing to Him and desire to please Him in all things? Such abnegation compels gratitude, such love, such selflessness deserves, at the very least, the most that we are and that we have.
Surely to be redeemed is the greatest thing there is, to be forgiven and in right relationship with God the supreme blessing of the soul. ‘Beloved, now we have peace with God’ speaks to the entire quest of human existence and on the cross Jesus provided the solution for the human condition. We humans would search high and low for the answer; we adhere to principles, subscribe to rules, absorb philosophies and bow to many gods, when it is all so simple; the cross, the grave, the resurrection of Christ provides that which humanity craves, peace with God.
And though the shame of the cross ended in the glorification of Christ and in our redemption it does not lessen the pain in reading the account of it. I find a kindred spirit in the writer of the song ‘Were you there?’. He penned these words
- “Were you there when they crucified my Lord (2ce), Oh oh oh oh, Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble…
- Were you there when they nailed him to the cross…
- Were you there when they pierced him in the side…..
- Were you there when they laid him in the tomb…..Sometimes it causes me to tremble….”
May it always cause us to tremble!