Listen to or download this week’s radio program:
© 2016 Don Pinson / To Download, right-click here: [Download]
A powerful blow of the mallet forces the spike through Jesus’ crossed feet. His body contorts and His quivering lips reveal the pain He’s absorbing—yet no sound is heard from His lips save the gasps of quickly taking in air as a reflex to the impact of the nails. His blood is now running onto the ground at a steady rate—the earth soaking up the blood of its Creator.
Yet in all this word-defying scene of horrendous torture, there is an unmistakable presence of peace surrounding this middle cross. Though unseen, it is undeniable. This Man is like no other that has ever hung on a cross. There is a Presence about Him. In spite of the cruelty, the ghastly sight of blood, and the stark disregard for human life, dignity pervades this scene! Something is happening here which defies description. A transaction is taking place between heaven and earth that will profoundly affect all of history.
Suddenly, as He looks to heaven, Jesus breaks his silence,
“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
All eyes quickly turn toward Him. What did He say? “Father, forgive them?” Forgive those who had driven nails through His body? Forgive those who had ripped His flesh with the whip? Forgive those who were wasting His very life’s blood on the ground! Forgive them? Did they really hear Him right? Yet, the words were unmistakable. He was asking God to forgive the very ones who were torturing Him.
The soldiers simply could not believe their ears. They knew Jesus had been taking what they were dishing out with an attitude that they had never seen before. But when He said “Father forgive them” He was the One doing the giving. He was stepping up to plead for mercy at the bar of judgment—for them, his tormentors. They were all affected by the statement. At least one was shaken to the core of his being. While the others tried to shake off the guilt they felt by busying themselves with gambling for Jesus’ robe, this one couldn’t take his eyes off Jesus. The eyes of this Man, Jesus, were captivating. Even now, as His body is racked with pain, His eyes are full of peace. While Jesus had submitted to being nailed to the cross, this soldier had the distinct feeling that He could have stopped this process with heavenly power anytime He chose. It was as if there were spiritual beings all around who were just longing to step in and stop this whole misuse of religious and governmental power. It seemed they were just waiting for a word—which never came.
The soldier kept looking at Jesus, taking in what they had just inflicted on a—yes—an innocent Man! He found himself admitting it deep within. This Man was innocent! That made them the guilty ones! Now this soldier was willing to go a step further. Could this Jesus really be the Son of the God of the Jews, as it was said that He claimed to be? What a difficult thing to imagine. Could God dwell in a human body? The Romans had tried to make their emperors out to be gods, elevating a man to the position of a god. But could God come down to be a man?
Later, John, who was standing there at the cross, would write,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:1 &14)
If He was God and died for you, should not you, a man, let Him live in and though you, right now? Will you surrender to Him right now?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.
(This message has been taken from our book Why God Birthed America. You can order a copy of Why God Birthed America at HERE)