What is the crucifixion?
It sounds like a cool religious word, or a historical term that carries as much importance as “the depression” or “the revolution”.
Am I as distant and detached from the crucifixion as I am any other historical event that occurred thousands of years ago? May it never be.
- The darkest hour of history, the death of a king, the murder of an innocent man, the bludgeoning of the Divine.
- At the cross we experience a love that seeks to save the very people who worked so hard to put Jesus on the cross.
- At the cross God’s plan is more real and present than ever before
- At the cross the worst of human action is contrasted by the best of Divine embrace
- At the cross I’m present because in Christ the worst of my actions have been nailed to the cross.
The crucifixion of our Lord and Savior is not history…
it is His Story…
and I am absolutely connected to His Story.
Jesus was murdered on the cross…but he didn’t go kicking and screaming. He went victoriously, He went with your name on his heart and your sin on his shoulders and he died. It was over that Friday evening… and he was buried. But that isn’t the end of the story.
It was the next day that human hypocrisy reached its climax…when man would do everything in his power to restrain and contain God. It was started in Pilate’s court and it was continued to the grave site. Matthew 27:62 says that on the next day… after Jesus was buried. The Pharisees went to Pilate. On the Sabbath…on the day of worship, of rest, of communing peacefully with the Divine, the Pharisees continue their labor…their religious task, their work.
The Pharisees gathered together recalling the words of Jesus. They remember him saying “After three days I will rise again”. The Pharisees knew Jesus teaching, they were threatened by what they thought his disciples might do, they were threatened by what God might do. So they made a choice; not only have we ensured that he was killed, now we will ensure that nothing greater, more miraculous, more inspiring will take place. Their religious status and practice is threatened and their only choice is to cut all ties, all possibilities of something happening.
They tell Pilate “Give the order to have the tomb SECURED, make sure no more deception is spread… make sure our position of authority as God’s priests is secure.
Pilate says “Go take a guard and make the tomb as SECURE as you know how.”
So the Priests went and made the tomb SECURE. They sealed it and posted a guard.
This is the best way that human hands and minds are able to secure a tomb, to ensure that nothing happens, that nothing divine or deceptive happens. No way no how. Those Pharisees dusted off their hands and slept well that night.
I believe this to be a picture of one of the greatest Human Hypocrisies of all time. Not only had humanity, as represented by the religious leaders, put Jesus on the cross…they also did everything that was humanly possible to ensure that nothing else happened to unnerve their system, their authority, or their religion.
Think about it,
- In this story the men of God (the Pharisees) are trying to hide and seal away God
- In this story the Sabbath keepers (those who stoned others for not keeping the Sabbath) conniving against the God of rest on the day of rest
- Man’s plan to secure and in theory lock the tomb of the Creator of the Universe
Could the hypocrisy and contrast be more stark?
And yet when mankind refuses to learn from history, he is doomed to repeat it. How often today the world does everything in its power to secure, lock away, and bury God. The world, like the Pharisees, labors and works to maintain a life apart from God.
There is no other point in history where man was so sure of a conclusion and yet God was so sure of a new beginning!!!!!
Written by Milan Homola