We’re pressing on with rehearsals for our presentation of Mark’s Gospel, though I’ve lost several cast members, but hopefully gained others. There’s been real contention over this, but I’m unwilling to let it go, as I believe it will be a powerful tool in the Father’s hands.
One thing that has struck me forcibly is that I keep apologising to the man who’s portraying Jesus, for what I, as the director, am putting him through. He’s having to take blows on his face and body, be blindfolded, bound, stripped and beaten. The last time I was down at Ellel Grange I asked the man who keeps our grounds so beautifully if he could find me an appropriate length of wood which we could use for the cross-beam, and he’s come up with an ideal piece, but it’s very heavy and I keep thinking that our actor (appropriately named Adam), will have to carry this on his bare shoulders.
But then I recognise that this is a pale imitation of what Jesus had to go through for us. The blows He suffered would have been far heavier and more vicious than the ones Adam is receiving, and Jesus’ shoulders would have been stripped bare of flesh by the scourging. The pain of carrying the wooden cross against those wounds must have been excruciating. All of this took place after He’d suffered in Gethsemane so deeply, agonising over what was ahead of Him so much that He sweated drops of blood, and was in a greatly weakened physical state.
Having spent all His life in close communion with His Father, at this time when He needed His Father’s love and support most He felt separated from Him because of the sins of the world, your sins and mine. The pain of the Father must also have been heart-breaking as He saw His beloved Son going through such an agonising time.
I can’t fully understand what was going on then, I’m not sure that anyone can fully understand, but I do know that during that time of incredible pain and suffering, He took into His body all our sin and sickness, pain and hurt, and because He chose to die and rise again, He broke the chains that bind us, enabling us to enjoy freedom. It’s now up to us to appropriate that freedom through confession, repentance and forgiveness.
Praise His wonderful Name. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I can’t fully understand all that happened when You chose to die for me. All I know is that, through Your death, I can be set free of the pain and hurt of the past. Please help me to do my part so that I may appropriate that freedom. I thank You from the bottom of my heart for Your tremendous love, Amen.
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