In 1653, the Dutch painter Rembrandt painted a piece called “The Three Crosses” that depicted Jesus dying on the cross between two thieves and the crowd below looking on. And next to all of that, in the shadows, he drew an obscure figure that was difficult to make out. For years, no one knew who it was until it was discovered that it was Rembrandt himself. He put himself in the painting to say that Jesus died for his sins too. It was his sin that nailed Him to the cross.
Christians throughout history have understood this truth from Rembrandt. We have all understood that Jesus died for our sins. His death was personal for us. We were there.
It is this truth that makes John 19 meaningful for us because it tells us about the cross. It tells us what happened when Jesus died for us. Verses 14-16 say, “Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Jews, ‘Behold, your King!’ So they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.”
Such a passage should send chills up our spine. It should hold our attention like no other. It raises questions like: What was it like to crucify a man? And why were the Jews so eager to do it to Jesus? That is what we will talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church. We are going to study the crucifixion of our Lord.
To go back to the Rembrandt painting for a moment, another important question is this: Is the cross a personal thing for you? Were you there? Did He die for your sins too? If you are not sure how to answer that or you would like to hear more, we meet at 9:30 at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack. We look forward to studying this amazing passage with you and making it personal. See you there! – Jeremy Cagle