They bound His hands, and they took Him captive. They beat Him, and they spat on Him. They slapped Him, and they plucked the hairs of His beard from His face. They put a crown of thorns on His head, and they whipped Him. They put a robe on His back and yelled, “Hail the King of the Jews.” They nailed Him to the cross, and they killed the Son of God.
You know, a lot of times it’s easy for us to read Scripture and say to ourselves, “How could they do such a thing?” “How could they be so blind?” “Why did they not stop to think?” This morning as we read this article, I want each of us to truly place ourselves at the foot of the cross. However, instead of the usual “THEY’S” we like to put in, replace them with a more accurate word, “I”. I bound His hands, and I took Him captive. I beat Him, and I spat on Him. I slapped Him, and I plucked His beard from His face. I put a crown of thorns on His head, and I whipped Him. I put a robe on His back, and I yelled, “Hail the King of the Jews.” I took a hammer and nailed Him to the cross. I killed the Son of God.
In 1 Kings 18 we read about Elijah going up against the prophets of Baal. It is likely that each of us reading this article have a knowledge of this text. If you remember, Elijah, the prophet of Jehovah God, challenged the prophets of Baal, a false god. Elijah had them set up two alters with one bull on each. Whichever God or god that reigned down fire from the Heavens would be the real god. Beginning in verse 26, we can see the followers of Baal crying out to their god for him to answer their plea. They even go to the extent of dancing to Baal and shouting out to him. Elijah mocks them by saying, “Maybe Baal is sleeping, maybe Baal is gone on a journey.” The prophets of Baal then resorted to cutting themselves to make their god hear them. The Bible says that they cut themselves until the blood gushed out on them, to no avail.
This so-called god required human blood sacrifices for sins. Our God became our blood sacrifice for us. The prophets of Baal cut themselves for their god, when we have a God who allowed Himself to be cut for us. Jesus Christ died for us. Earlier I mentioned how it was me and it was you who crucified the Lord Jesus. It was, but to add to this scene we are picturing now, let us add this fact. Christ allowed us to take Him captive. Christ allowed us to whip Him. Christ allowed us to nail Him to the cross. Christ allowed us to kill Him. He could have said no. He could have decided to allow His creation to perish without a way of salvation. Christ was there in the beginning to speak the world into existence. Christ is all powerful, and could have called leagues of angels to wipe the earth clean. Instead, He died for you and for me.
Our God did just the opposite of what seemed logical. Jesus, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, did not have a place to lay His head at night. You see, the apostles, the Pharisees, everyone in that time was looking for the Messiah to be someone to set up an earthly kingdom, to restore the greatness they had in the time of David. They looked for the Messiah to rule an Earthly kingdom, to be clothed in all the riches and luxury this Earth has to offer. He chose to die instead. He chose to allow you and to allow me to spit on Him instead. To allow you and allow me to crucify Him and kill Him instead. You see, at Mount Carmel, the prophets of Baal were crying out and shouting for their god to hear them. We cried out to our God as well. We cried out, “Crucify Him!” “Crucify Him!” “Crucify Him!”
Why is it so easy for us to take part in the daily crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, but we can’t take part in the death of ourselves? For us to be faithful children we must be dead to ourselves. Jesus would say in Matthew 16:24, “If any man desires to come after me, he must first deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Whose death do we take part in daily? Do we take part in the death of Our Lord, or our own? The Bible describes those who purposefully sin as people who crucify Him again in Hebrews 6:6. So, the question must be raised, whose death do we take part in daily?
What are we doing each Sunday during the Lord’s supper? Are we smiling, laughing, playing with our kids, wondering where we are going to eat, or worried about our grades or our jobs? Or, are our eyes fixed on the cross? Envisioning the blood flowing from His back, from His hands, from His feet, and from His side? The blood that we made flow. Can we hear His haunting cry of abandonment, “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?” Can we hear His troubled breathing? Can we envision the scenes of that day, realizing that we are why He went through it all? Jesus did not die, for us to take His death for granted. We all need to be people of the cross. Whenever we are weary, whenever we are beaten, let’s go to the cross.
Remind me oh Lord of the price that was paid. When I’m in my room alone and lust is at the door, remind me of the price that was paid. When my kids are driving me to my wits end, remind me of the price that was paid. When I want to sleep in through Bible class, remind me of the price that was paid. When I’m at the airport and pass a bar that’s so far away from home no one will know, remind me of the price that was paid. When I’m taking a test that I haven’t studied for and the person next to me is the smartest in the class, remind me of the price that was paid. When my team is in the Super Bowl and I don’t want to miss the first half because of Church, remind me of the price that was paid. When my wife or husband is driving me crazy, remind me of the price that was paid. When work takes me from being a good Christian or a good father or mother, remind me of the price that was paid. When Satan attempts to wrap his hands around me, remind me of the price that was paid.
Lord, remind me of the price that was paid on Calvary!