They called out each sin one by one as I felt the burden grow on my shoulders. I began to weep at my own faults as they instructed me to pick up the cross on which I would hang for all I had done; the final moments that would lead to my death and eternal suffering weighing heavy on my mind. Before I could reach down to lift the very thing that signified my trespasses onto my shoulders, Jesus stopped me. He reached out his hand, lifted my burden, placed my sin on His shoulders, and went on to suffer my punishment, and die so that I may live.
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit”
He didn’t take up the cross or His cross; He took up MY cross. A crown of thorns meant for my head, beatings I should have to bear, and the death I deserve; He took it all so that I could have everlasting life. This image of Jesus was put in my path a year ago and my eyes weren’t dry for a long time after. Even thinking about it now, I’m struck in so many ways. It’s not that I had never heard the story of Jesus dying so that all of us could live, I had just never thought about it on a personal basis. It’s more than Jesus taking up the cross to die for millions and millions of people to have life, it’s that He took up my cross. His love for me was so great that he DIED for me. He loved you so much that He died for you!
A friend sacrifices himself or herself to save your life. Could you imagine how you would feel toward that friend? You’d wish you could do anything for that person to pay them back and you’d be eternally grateful. Well Jesus did that! For ALL OF US! He did that for people who hated Him, people who loved him, family, friends, the unborn, the sick, the poor, the rich….everyone.
I think about how many times a day I feel undeserving of God’s grace, mercy, faithfulness and love and I’m humbled. No matter how undeserving we may feel, God tells us different; despite everything, our sins are atoned for. We are made alive in Christ.
1 John 2:2 – “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”