July 9, 2016 by James Lindquist
Well gang, I have been studying Christ’s death on the Cross for a few days now and my heart feels very heavy this morning. It’s been an emotional time for me. However, it’s been a very worthwhile study and because I understand now what Christ actually went through for me, it has brought me even closer to Him. The level of His love for me means a lot more to me now. I feel that for two thousand years we have all, me included, been sugarcoating God’s Word in terms of Christ’s Cross experience, to help our medicine go down like Julie Andrews sang about in her song “A Spoonful of Sugar.”
Now I have never done this before on one of my blogs, but because of the heaviness in my heart, I would like to pray my heart on this blog entry. I don’t know where this is going gang so have patience with me please. Whatever ends up on my computer, that’s the way you’ll read it. May God bless you all. Because of my studies and because of the times in which we find ourselves, we should be in God’s Word heavily and humbly seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways. We should be taking up our cross and following Jesus in total obedience. Repentance and salvation are the words for today and not just on paper. I exhort you to study God’s Word, and don’t just read the words that are on paper.
“Our dear heavenly, gracious, and merciful Father, I come to you asking you for forgiveness. Lord, I am in need of your grace and mercy for my heart is heavy this morning as I reach out to you. I confess that I have minimized you and your love for me. I am remorseful and heavy laden because I have not carried my own cross in a way that would be worthy to you Lord. I want to be your disciple but I fear that I have fallen very short.
“I sin every day thereby making a mockery of your death on the Cross. Lord, please forgive me that when I sin, I put you back up on the Cross. And worse Lord, since you dwell within me, I make you experience my sin with me. Please forgive me Lord.
“I know that I am worthy Lord, because you are in me and dwell there for which I am grateful and thankful. However, I know that I am undeserving. I feel like Paul this morning Lord when he wrote in your Word, “What I do, I allow not, and what I hate, that I do. . .Lord it’s not that I am unwilling to carry my own cross and obey you unconditionally no matter what the cost. It’s just that it is not I that sin but the sin nature that dwells within me, like Paul says. But Lord, Paul and I are making excuses for our own decisions, and I ask forgiveness for my excuses. Like Paul, I hate it when I sin against you or take you for granted. We have the choice that you gave us and it is up to us personally to fight the sin nature and make the right and righteous decision(s).
“I thank you Lord for your love for me, and that you would actually die for me, a sinner, is incomprehensible to me. Lord, I hate to ask, given all that you have already done for me but I am need of your grace and mercy. I therefore ask for forgiveness for minimizing your death on the Cross and what it took for you to get there and through that time.
“Lord, I just feel in my heart that I want to ask forgiveness for the whole world because we have ALL minimized your death on Calvary’s Tree, but I can’t, for it’s up to each of us to do so. The way mankind has treated you Lord is unforgivable, but I know that you would forgive them, each and every one, if they’d just ask. I know that it’s up to each of us to ask you Lord. Father in heaven, please send the Holy Spirit to those who don’t know you and share with them the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. My heart cries out to those who don’t know you Lord.
“I love reading your Word Lord for it is a lamp unto my feet and a guide unto my path. But I must confess Lord that many times; I just read the words on the paper of your Word. For that, I am truly sorry. Thank you Lord for your Word.
“But Lord, I don’t understand something. Sometimes you just tell us about an incident or about what happened. You don’t show us. Lord, please forgive the writer in me but I need to see, feel, and be shown to fully understand the consequences of what we are supposed to feel, learn, understand, and obey. I speak of the Via Dolorosa and the Cross Lord. I feel that I have sugarcoated and minimized those events. Oh I’ve read the words Lord, many, many times but only as words on the papers of your text. Then I thank you in my spirit for doing that for me, and then go about my day. I am so sorry for taking you for granted and for not studying about you.
“I have done that for years Lord. I know that you were wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and that your stripes healed us. I think that all Christians know this verse and could quote it verbatim but I am so sorry for JUST READING those words and not studying, imagining, and understanding what those words really meant and what has happened to you. I never asked, “How did it affect you Lord? How did it affect the characters in your Word? What actually happened to them? What actually happened to you? How can I apply that to my life?” What you did for us and what you went through on the Via Dolorosa and the Cross were NOT JUST WORDS ON PAPER. The words actually happened and had consequences.
“Lord. . .The Roman soldiers unmercifully beat you, they shredded your back with leather straps laced with metal, bones, and glass. . .thirty-nine times. You bled profusely. How you withstood the pain, I know not. Your back was laid bare to the bone and sinew could be seen. Your face was puffed and swollen from the beatings. Your eyes were probably swollen shut. They crammed a crown of thorns on your head and you bled much more, not to speak of the excruciating pain that you experienced because of the thorns. Your own blood dripped down on your face and into your mouth, maybe even into the slits you had remaining of your eyes. By this time Lord, because of the loss of blood and lack of water, you were dangerously dehydrated, weak, and disoriented. After that, they made you carry your own Cross a half of a mile down the Via Dolorosa with the Cross grinding on your already bare to the bone back.
“Then they nailed you to a Cross with 7-9 inch spikes, which meant more bleeding and terribly excruciating pain. You were beat to a pulp and your body was like hamburger. You were slaughtered Lord like the lambs to the slaughter. You hadn’t had anything to drink since the night before and you even refused the sponge filled with gall and wine. It would have made things easier for you Lord and a little less painful. It would have eased your suffering a little Lord. But you refused it, just for me (and all of us). Thank you Lord. I mean that Lord. I say that with my heart Lord, not just with my words. It seems hardly enough to say.
“Lord, if the physical pain wasn’t enough, you no doubt suffered emotionally because much of the world and some of your disciples rejected you and even claimed that they didn’t know you. They even slept while you were sweating blood. And here you were, dying for them and they ignored and rejected you. I am so sorry Lord. You were an emotional and physical wreck and disheartened by all the rejection.
“Then to top it all off, they hung you on the Cross for six hours suffering all that emotional torment and excruciating physical pain. You depleted a great deal of your blood. You were completely spent, exhausted, dehydrated to the point of death. You were terribly weak and your legs gave out on the Cross thereby dislocating your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Because of all this, you were unable to support yourself so that you could exhale. ALL the sins of every human being that ever lived or will ever live were placed on your shoulders. My Lord God and savior, Jesus Christ, you eventually suffocated to death. Oh my God in heaven, I am so sorry. Then for the final act, they thrust a spear into your side, piercing your heart and lungs.
Lord, your love for me overwhelms me and I scarce know what else to say. I should fall prostrate before you and stay there for the rest of my life because of what you did for me.
“Lord. . .Please forgive me for I have played a huge part in your death and suffering. I am so very sorry Lord. In fact Lord, we all play a part in your death, pain, and suffering, but I can only speak for myself. ‘Thank you Lord’ seems so inadequate. How can I even come close to loving you in that capacity? But I do thank you Lord for what you did and continue to do for me. That you will never leave or forsake me is a complete mystery to me Lord, and while I was yet a sinner, you died for me. Lord God in heaven, I worship you and love you, with all my heart.
“Lord, I am in tears as I pray this to you, not to open up old wounds but to show you that I understand what you went through and that you are NOT just a bunch of words on paper to me that I just read and then go about my day. This study has brought me to a new understanding of the level and magnitude of the love that you have for me Lord. Although the study was hard to do Lord, it was so much more enlightening to make it, rather than to just read the words of your Gospel “Jesus died for our sins.” To go through all that you did Lord, just for me, has brought me even closer to you.
“My study has opened my eyes to the brutality that you suffered for mankind and the VERY high price that you paid for your Bride. And to have them reject you Lord, hurts my heart and more so as it no doubt hurts yours. I am so sorry for what you went through and how the world, myself included, have treated you, rejected you, and not properly taken up our own cross to follow you no matter what the cost.
“You are everything to me Lord. You are my Lord, my Savior, my master, my King, my light, my guide, my salvation and redemption, and soon coming husband and I give worship, glory, and honor for all the days of my remaining life. Lord, I give you my life. Have your way with me. I am proud to be in your family and associated with one of those who are called by your name – Christian. Lord, I give you my undying gratitude, respect, and worship, and I do so in the name that is above every name, and that name Lord. . .is yours — Jesus Christ. Amen.”