The Moment It Happened
In every Jesus movie ever, the moment of crucifixion is a “thing." I can see in my memory the slow motion of the hammer, the driving of the spike, the focus on Jesus’ face. And yet, when I read the bible, it takes me by surprise. Notice with me:
“Then they crucified Him, and divided his garments …” (Matt. 17:35).
“And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots for them …” (Mark 15:24).
“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him …” (Luke 23:31).
“Where they crucified Him, and two others with him …” (John 19:18)
The gospel writers, witnesses to this horrific event, don’t prolong it. There is no grand description of the pain, no focus on the soldiers’ cruelty, no emphasis on the gore. It simply is. And it makes me wonder: How can they just state something so awful with such simple words?
I think there may be no better way. Sometimes our need to emphasize certain aspects of life hides the very real moments. In this case, the Savior of the world was being nailed to a cross. What description could possibly do justice to this?
Rather than dwell in the words, we simply have to accept them for what they reveal — our Savior, being treated as a criminal. If you blink you might miss it. Jesus, nailed to a cross. And this incredible moment was endured out of extreme love for us. If we move too quickly to the descriptions of the next moments, we miss how incredible this moment is — the most selfless act in the history of time.
In life we often want to move past the hard parts as quickly as possible. When we do this, though, I think we miss the chance to sit with Jesus. To notice His pain, to know that He is with us — these are the gifts of the crucifixion. Every pain we have in this world is ultimately healed by the pain Jesus went through. I don’t want to move so quickly through the hard parts I miss the chance to experience the healing Jesus offered us in and through that moment on the cross. So simple, so easy to miss.
Take time today to think about some of the pain this past year and see how the cross offers healing beyond any pain we can imagine.