“Behold your King!”
Israel looked but didn’t see a savior or a king in the bloodied prisoner in Roman custody. “Away with him, away with him! Crucify him! So they took Jesus and led him away…where they crucified him…”
When I was a young man, I wrote a masterful paper on the Hundred Years War. My theme was that the savage slaughter of innocents across Europe was definitive proof that God did not exist. It was thoroughly researched and well-made case complete with numbers and statistics about deaths in battle, wanton civilian massacres, and corrupt kings. Man’s inhumanity to man run amok and where was the loving God? He must not be real.
But then, I saw Him on the cross… and the world changed.
Years later, as a young Christian minister, I was persuaded to abandon a military career to become Minister of Youth and Christian Education. The job offer vanished the day after I left the service. I was asked by the church leadership to move away so as not to draw members of the congregation away. I was devastated and I admit I held a grudge.
But then, I saw him on the cross… and I changed.
Severely depressed, thousands of miles from home, and alone, I was at my wit’s end. Deceived into believing I had been abandoned by God and family, and questioning my own faith, I was at the point of giving up.
But then, I saw him on the cross… and our relationship changed.
The point I hope to make here is that life presents difficulties that seem impossible to overcome. Christian faith is not all sunshine and miracles delivering its disciples from every distress. It is about being made into a person fit for another world in which the highest ideals here are the mundane. It is not a world where people jockey for position, riches, or fame, but one based on love.
Love given, is the picture God painted on the cross. There is a line in the song that bears the same title as this post that says, “Redemption’s cost for me display, how could my heart have not been swayed…” Love received and shared is my answer to the picture God painted.
My King is no longer on the cross. He has risen, as He said. I was the cause of his crucifixion and the object of the salvation he won there. I have but to look at the cross to find the cost paid for me. In doing so my hope and faith are reborn.
Who or what then can separate me from the love of God? As long as I can see the cross, the answer remains the same—neither height nor depth, neither things present nor things to come for I am not my own. I was bought and paid for by Jesus on the cross.
You don’t have to “see” it, nor understand it. Derision and slander change nothing. He was crucified for me; I can do no less in return.