Many people give their attention to the Passion of Christ this time of the year. But I had an unusually deep emotional reaction to the sufferings of Christ on the cross this year. We went to a Maundy Thursday service at church two days ago and we sang a hymn that still lingers. One line was “it was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished.” I began to think about how awful it would feel if, because of my negligence, an innocent person died. But my sin is so much more than negligence. Then, how terrible I would feel if, because of my self-centeredness, an innocent person died. But my sin is so much more than self-centeredness. Then again, how ashamed I would feel if, because of my insensitivity to important things, an innocent person died. But my sin is so much more than insensitivity. It made me want to cry out, “No, don’t go to the cross. You don’t deserve it. You’re innocent. I’m the guilty one.” To know about the substitutionary atonement from an intellectual point of view is exciting. To experience it (Him instead of me) is humbling. So after nearly 40 years of trusting in Christ for my salvation and following Him, I understand just a little more of what it’s about. It’s hard to comprehend the depth and darkness of sin against the height and brilliance of God’s holiness. The enormity of His sacrifice for my benefit is overwhelming. The disciples must have really been despondent this time of the week. Praise God for Sunday. He is risen. Hallelujah. He will come again. Amen
The figure of Christ Crucified in Cristo de la Clemencia as sculpted by Juan Martinez Montanes in 1603 and is done in wood, gessoed, polychromed and gilded. It’s one of my favorites.