Imagine yourself a silent witness to the humiliation that Jesus was subjected to before his death. The soldiers stripped him of his clothes, put a crown of thorns upon his head and mocked him. He was spat on, slapped in the face, flogged and struck on the head with a stick numerous times.
Now imagine that, as Jesus stands there, in his mind’s eye he is looking through a tunnel into the future – hundreds of years into the future – and he is focused on one person at the end of the tunnel. As he stands there with spit and blood running down his face, enduring the pain of being brutally hit and mocked, all he can think about is this person at the end of the tunnel. The person he is looking at is a hypocrite, a liar, consumed with jealousy, full of pride and envy. The person he is seeing has often had doubts about the existence of God and thinks of themself as being a decent human being.
He is concentrating so hard on this person in an effort to blot out what is happening to him and he is repeating to himself, ‘I will endure this, I will willingly go through being nailed to a cross and being separated from my Father in heaven if it means that that person has a chance of asking for forgiveness, of being forgiven and of being able to spend eternity with God and me.’
He knows that the only chance that person has is for him to die on the cross – to take that person’s sin upon his body, to have those sins nailed to the cross and to die for that person in the hope that that person will accept him into their lives, confess their sins and, because of the blood that he shed on the cross, be forgiven and so enter into a relationship with God.
Jesus would be the bridge between this person and God. ‘Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid.’ (Oswald Chambers)
You are the person at the end of the tunnel.
You are the person that Jesus was looking at.
You are the person Jesus died for.
I am that person.