You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst
Jesus, counted among transgressors (Is 53:12), hung between two thieves at life’s end. At birth, He was surrounded by lowly shepherds. In life, He hung out with sinners. He was born, lived, and died among the common. Truly God with us.
Consider the grand paradox of it all. The lofty, those He also came to save, remained detached . . . removed . . . at a distance. In the Temple, on the royal throne of the king's palace, and on the judgment seat—places were traded, skewed. Roles reversed, perverted. Sinners in seats of honor, the Honorable among the sinners. And Jesus was counted as one of them.
He hung on the place God created to resemble death itself, for it was called The Place of the Skull, Golgotha.
He died a Man convicted, legally guilty—for He took upon Himself the guilty judgment for all our despicable sins. The innocent, pure in heart, holy, was appallingly counted among the transgressors.
It stabs the heart . . . stings the eyes.
He took my sin, my shame.
He carried my sorrow, my guilt.
He absorbed my penalty, my blows.
He paid my price, my debt.
He died my death.
Remember with me the crucified Christ:
A sign of mockery haloed His gruesome altar.
A garland of thorns embedded upon His holy head.
A tear-streaked face in anguish.
A stream of cleansing, clotting blood.
Bare flesh, torn and bruised.
A blood-soaked tree.
Pools of saving blood muddied hallowed ground, stomped carelessly underfoot.
The cries, the cruelty, the repulsive injustice.
The lavish price of my forgiveness.
From cave to cave, manger to tomb,
Everlasting to Everlasting—
Lamb of God slain.
Holy God, I pray the prayer of Jesus this day. For the masses that look to the Cross of Christ and see nothing more than a Jewish criminal, forgive them, for they know not (Lk 23:34). Through my lament, as I remember Your perfect sacrifice this hallowed day, accept my deepest and eternal thanks.
[There will be no post here tomorrow, in observance of that Silent Saturday]