As we look towards Good Friday and Easter, Pastor Paul has been taking a closer look at all of the events that lead up to Jesus persecution and death. This passage from Matthew 27 makes me feel really uncomfortable on so many levels.
There's the fact of the excruciating pain that Jesus endured - that crown of thorns wasn't made up of those cute sticky thorn balls that stick to your coat while walking in the woods.
There's the thought of the mocking, hateful, haughty and derisive faces, leering and jeering and poking and literally spitting in this wounded, innocent mans face after they beat within an inch of His life.
There's the fact that Jesus went through this willingly, in obedience to the Father (which brings to mind a whole other parade of uncomfortable feelings**).
But I think what makes me personally so uncomfortable with this passage, is the absolute disgusting level of evil that humans are capable of. And the fact that, if I am honest, if it wasn't for the grace of God's hand on my heart, I would be the exact same way.
If you gloss over the way that Jesus was treated and say,"it was those guys, those rebels, those hateful power hungry politicians, it wasn't me." then you're missing the point. The point of this whole passage was not only to show us how weak the King of Creation had to become but also how deeply evil and malicious our human hearts are.
If we think about this, we can do nothing but fall on our knees in humble admission of our sins and failures in front of a perfect God. And yet, in this passage, God is also showing us what He is doing so that we can rise up in confidence with the knowledge that He has forgiven us. He has made a way to be free and saved and cherished in His presence in eternity with Him. This undeserved grace, this undeserved pardon is given to us with love.
If reading this makes you uncomfortable, it is ok. It is human nature to be affronted and offended by this message in the Bible. But don't sit there with your discomfort and leave it at that. Look into it, find someone to talk to (we're always here!). Question and dig and think about it. You can check out the podcast** that Paul recorded here: CTP Episode 42 about the blood of Christ and why it had to be the way it had to be.
Join us this Friday for our Good Friday service, livestreaming at 10:00 or in person.