Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?
Welcome to Real Life. God’s grace is so rich and abundant and free. I live it, walk it, breath it. It envelopes me like a warm blanket. Because it's so familiar, I forget that it came at an enormous cost. On a day I least expected, God brought this lesson home.
I was traveling Slovakia with my parents one summer, visiting relatives and sightseeing. My cousin Ľudka planned a day trip to Levoča for us. It is an ancient, walled city that has two churches of special interest: the hilltop Basilica of the Visitation and St. Jacob’s Cathedral which houses Master Paul's carvings from the 1500’s.
Walking up to the Basilica, we were met with the sweet melody of chanted prayers. Ľudka led the way to a pew inside the crowded sanctuary. Taking in the beauty of the church, my eyes rested on a statue of Jesus in agony on the cross. Tears streamed down his face. Blood poured from his side. It was a beautiful, yet horrible image.
As I gazed at Jesus' face, two words from the chanted prayers caught my attention. “Moja vina,” they repeated, “My fault.” In my devotions that week, I had read about Jesus' death and meditated on his passion. However, I had not considered my part in his suffering.
But he was pierced for my rebellion, crushed for my sins."Moja vina," I whispered. "It was my fault you suffered, Lord." I felt the heaviness of my sin that had been laid on Jesus. A profound grief filled my soul.
He was beaten so I could be whole.
He was whipped so I could be healed.
Later, we drove on to St. Jacob’s. A life-size crucifix hung in the entryway. One glance at Jesus' face revived my earlier thoughts. I dropped to my knees in tears. Jesus, you suffered for me.
Pulling myself together, I followed the tour into the cavernous Cathedral. Master Paul’s carvings were exquisite. However, I was again drawn to the cross. Another crucifix hung from a beam in the center of the sanctuary. In some mysterious way, God's Spirit was opening a window of comprehension in my soul. I sensed Jesus' horror and repulsion. This Holy One who knew no sin bore the filth, the shameful sin of the world. A flood burst. I crumpled onto the stone floor and wept. My mother walked up behind me and placed a gentle hand on my shoulder, “Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not. I feel Jesus’ agony. I can’t bear it.”
I understood the cross. I was undone. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Sometimes, it causes me to tremble.
Oh, Jesus, I'm so sorry for my sin.
I'm sorry you had to suffer for me.
Thank you for your amazing gift of grace.
I love you, Lord.
- Jesus suffered for you, too. Have you received his gift of grace? Call (888) NEED-HIM or visit Chat About Jesus.
- “Where you there?” by Three Mo' Tenors.
- If you know Christ, when was the last time you grieved over your sins?