You may know the story of why Jesus was crucified, but have you experienced that crucifixion?
Crucifixion, according to Wikipedia, is “a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation.”
Not long ago, hope was just a word. It had no value, or meaning. It was purposely tucked away and never spoken of. “Hope? What a joke!” That is, in a nutshell, what I would constantly tell myself as I walked through my world. I was a walking dead man. What was so valuable about a life that had caused me so much pain? My relationships were hopeless. My strength was hopeless. I had no hope in humanity, or God, or anything that I could find within the many places I had lived. The worthlessness that I had felt inside was a dark world that consumed my every breath. That ever-present emptiness was filled with many pleasures, but really, only for a brief period. Superficial. Inadequate. When a new day would arise, the same fears and displeasures would present themselves. It was always a race to the next fix. When that one would lose the sparkle, I’d find a shiny new focus. Most of the time, the things that were beautiful on the outside would soon reveal a repulsiveness that had me digging further into that all-familiar place of hopelessness. It wasn’t even worth the effort, but the great need that we all feel had to be filled.
What humiliation! What agony! What absolute hell it must be to hang, nailed to a beam while desperately trying to support yourself in order to avoid asphyxiation! Dehydrated. Exhausted. It is likely one of the worst ways to die. It is likely a period in which one would just want to hurry up and die in order to not experience the immeasurable suffering.
Jesus did that for us. For the world. He paid a debt that He did not owe. He took it upon Himself and suffered, so we wouldn’t have to.
Doesn’t make sense? It didn’t to me either, for a very long time. It wasn’t until I wanted to know. I then realized what death; His death, my death to sin, the temporary death that I experience within this temporal life, really means. It is all right there within His Word, and to experience His truth is not something that can be explained. To say that there is life in His death, kind of makes one seem like a fool. But to the one who knows Him, it is a great hope that will never be found within the world!
Did you know that we deserve death? That may be hard to swallow, and many will say that it is simply not true, but the Lord says otherwise. Sin entered a perfect world of His creation because of the great deception that was whispered into an ear of vulnerability. Spoken through a serpent, into a mind of His created purity. The devil himself has destroyed the hope of humanity. The hope of finding peace within the natural world. Within yourself, apart from Christ. I encourage you to start learning about how and why all of these things are what caused Jesus Christ to hang on that cross. I pray that His Holy Spirit guides you in understanding after deciding to believe that you are in need of a Savior.
All of that torture that runs its course throughout your day. Your week. Your year. Your lifetime. What do you fill it with? Does it really work? Or, do you find yourself alone at times asking yourself if it really does work? Take it from a man who reached for so many fixes throughout a lifetime of agony. Through years of suffering and sorrow, with no hope in sight. Jesus Christ laid down His life for me. For you too. He gave me a power not found within myself, or within the world. He gave me the power of His Holy Spirit, and He is willing to give it to you too. You are going to have to spend some time with Him, and grow in His Word. You will have to sacrifice in order to grow.
Think about it? Is your self-crucifixion; the painful things that you run into that leave you breathless, screaming and crying, wanting to die, physically and mentally sick, are those things continuously crucifying you? Those things that keep you running, looking for something to place your hope in. That place where you end up, running on empty, and exhausted. Is your self-reliance short-lived? Maybe it is time to place your hope in the crucifixion of Christ? Maybe it is time to have a go with the Creator of the perfect peace that can now be found within. Through the death, life can be found. Maybe after you run the course and end up running nowhere like myself, you will see why I proclaim His victory?