I was there when they crucified my Lord…
And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” Mark 15:13
I am the crowd that cried, “Crucify Him!” Every one of my sins of commission or omission…each thought, word, or deed of mine that raises its hate-filled fist to heaven in defiance…every moment of refusal to love God passionately or love others compassionately…these sins of mine are the fickle folks who make up the mocking mob that cried and cries, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!!”
“So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” Mark 15:15
I am Pilate. Too often I want to satisfy the crowd and give them what they want. In so doing, I trade Jesus for the applause and approval of people. Too often I cave in to the shouts of the world, the flesh, and the devil, “Do what makes you look good! Sacrifice Jesus, not yourself! Satisfy yourself with the affection and approval of the crowd, not Christ!”
I am Barabbas. I am a convicted rebel and murderer. Both Barabbas and I, like our father Adam, have participated in an insurrection against the King and His Kingdom. And because Jesus, the Son of the Father, has been crucified in my place, I am free and am called the “son of Abba” (bar = son; abbas = Abba or father).
And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. Mark 15:21
I am Simon of Cyrene. I have been been called out of and in the midst of an ordinary life to carry the cross of Jesus…perhaps only to be remembered as one who participated in the suffering of Jesus, if only in a small way for a short time.
And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. Mark 15:27
I am the two criminals hanging on either side of Jesus. Sometimes I proudly demand that He prove Himself and rescue me (Luke 23:39). Sometimes I humbly admit that I deserve the cross, not Him, and all I can do is beg Him to let me be with Him in His Kingdom (Luke 23:40-43).
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Mark 15:37-38
I am the temple curtain. Too often I stand in between people and the presence of God. I get in the way. I must be torn apart so that my neighbors, the nations, and the next generation might see His glory and no longer be separated from His presence.
And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39
I am the Centurion. I have seen with the eyes of faith on the pages of Scripture the magnificence of the manner in which Jesus died. And having “seen,” I can’t help but believe that He is the Son of God.
I was there when they crucified my Lord.
Sometimes it causes me to tremble…tremble…tremble.