When I was ten years old I went to Wood Lake Bible Camp in Wisconsin. My dad was the Youth Guy at our church. My mom helped him and taught Sunday School. Our church was small and I felt like I owned the place. I knew everyone, and I was always there. In Awana I won all the awards for saying the most sections. VBS was my favorite time of year. I knew and loved church. I knew all about Jesus and God. I was number one.
At camp that year they had a cartoonist as a speaker. Every day of the week he depicted another night in the week leading up to Jesus’ death. The last night was to be the crucifixion and I was feeling sick. I loved camp, I loved people, I loved chapel. But that night I almost didn’t go. At the last minute, laying alone in my cabin I decided to go to the chapel. My cabin was sitting in the front row. The cartoonist drew out and explained the torture that Jeusus experienced. The type of whip that was used on his back. The place where the nails went into his hands. And I wept. I had heard it all before but this time it sunk in, it hit a nerve. The sins of my ten year old life were in my mind clearly. I was rude to my mom. I was mean to my siblings. I did things that weren’t right in secret.
I have never been a big crier but that night I couldn’t stop, and it was real. All I could think of was if Jesus gave up his life for me, he went through all of this for me, what could I possibly give him return? The answer – My life. Nothing else made sense.
22 years later I still have no better answer for what to give to Jesus other than my all. My life. My everything. He led by example giving it all for me and the only thing that makes sense is to give my all back to him.
When I read the about the crucifixion and the events leading up to it I always think of Isaiah 53.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions;he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.”
It isn’t lost on me that the past few days I have been sick in bed unable to take care of my kids, eat, drink, think or move. The days leading up to us studying this passage of the crucifixion. It reminds me of being a little girl again and almost missing a moment in time where my life was changed because my tummy felt sick. This is a part of the truth of God’s Story that our enemy would like us to be too familiar with. He would like us to skim over it, think we have heard it before. Ignore it for its normalcy in our lives. But we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent to what Christ did for us on the cross. What he endured for you and for me. How he willingly laid down his life. It is crucial that we allow it to fully encompass our being. My sin is still as ugly, uglier even, today than it was when I was ten and I am in need of a Savior even more now than I was then. So I still have tears when I read what the Perfect One chose to do for me, knowing every single thing I would think and do he did it anyway out of love. For me.
So the question for us today is, what does Christ’s death mean to you and for you today? And if complacency has taken root with this most crucial part of God’s grace will you confess that to God and ask that your heart of stone be turned again to a heart of flesh? My prayer is that we may know in our core what Jesus did for us so much that it changes how we live our lives.
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.