Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carry Your Cross

I was reading in Luke 23 this morning and noticed something I'd never noticed before: Jesus was indeed guilty of the charge that was brought against him.

But Jason, what you say is blasphemous. How could you--

Whoa, calm down. Let me finish. I read that it was customary for the accused (or I guess at this point, the damned) to have their charge displayed above them as they were crucified. The inscription above Jesus read, "This is the King of the Jews." To that charge, there was no dispute. He was indeed the King of the Jews. But that's hardly (read: not at all) punishable by death. So, thinking about that, I compiled a list of people that should have been on that cross instead.

  • Pilate, who 3 times declared Jesus' innocence
  • Herod, who also found no guilt in Jesus, though he mocked him anyway
  • All in the Sanhedrin
  • Caesar
  • Barabbas, who actually was convicted of crimes punishable by death
  • Simon of Cyrene, who actually carried Jesus' cross
  • The women who mourned over Jesus as he walked to his death
  • The soldiers who mocked him
  • The centurion, who noted that Jesus "certainly... was innocent"
  • The crowd, who left beating their breasts as a sign of grief
  • Jesus' acquaintances, who watched from afar
  • Joseph of Arimathea, who took Jesus from the cross and buried him
  • Jason Allen Jefferson
It's amazing that Jesus not only prayed for the forgiveness of those on the list, but carried out the gruesome, painful, humiliating act that would make that forgiveness possible. As he carried his cross, I remember his words for us to do the same. And that seems like a small thing when you consider that he not only carried his cross, but his cross carried him, for three dark hours, while he shed his innocent blood on our behalf.