I Was There . . .
“So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”
“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.”
“And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.”
“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 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 15:15, 21, 27, 37–39 (ESV)
I was there when they crucified my Lord . . .
I am Pilate – Too often I want to satisfy the crowd and give them what they want. In so doing, I trade Jesus for people-pleasing. Sometimes I hear in the crowd the voices of the world, my flesh, and the devil, all shouting, “Do what makes you look good! Sacrifice Jesus, not yourself! Satisfy your soul with our approval, not His!” I was there . . .
I am Barabbas – I am a convicted rebel and murderer. Like Adam and Eve, I 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 now free to live and be called “son of Abba” (bar = “son”, abbas = Abba, father). I was there . . .
I am Simon from Cyrene – I have 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, even if only in a small way for a short time. I was there . . .
I am the two criminals hanging on either side of Jesus – Sometimes I proudly demand that He prove Himself and rescue me. Sometimes I humbly admit that I deserve my punishment and that it's not right that He should bear anyone's cross, especially mine. All I can do is beg Him to let me be with Him in His Kingdom. I was there . . .
I am the temple curtain – There's a sense in which I must be willing to be torn apart so that my neighbors, the nations, and the next generation might see His glory, and find entrance into His holy presence through Jesus. I was there . . .
I am the Roman centurion – I have seen (with the eyes of faith on the pages of Scripture) the magnificence of the manner in which Jesus died, and I can’t help but believe that truly this man is the Son of God. I was there . . .
. . . Sometimes it causes me to tremble. I was there when they crucified my Lord.