Believe

Last weekend, as we looked closely again at the events of the death, burial and resurrection of The Lord Jesus we remembered many of the words of Jesus as He walked the road to the place where they crucified Him, until He cried out ‘It is finished!’ And gave up His Spirit.

Many of those words are understandable or unsurprising, but I was captured again by some of what Jesus said: As he dragged his body through the streets, unable to carry the cross any further, still he paused to speak words of love and warning to the women who mourned and lamented Him (Luke 23:27 – 31).

He looked down and saw His mother, and cared for her, giving her into the charge of John, one of His nearest disciples (John 19:26 – 27).

And possibly most challenging of all, what seems to be only shortly after they raised the cross, with His hands and feet only recently pierced, Jesus looks out and prays:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

I had to stop and ask, as Jesus looked out from the cross, what did He see? There were Roman soldiers, there were Pharisees and Religious Rulers with hatred in their hearts, there were many of the crowds who’d cried out “Crucify Him!” when Pilate seemed to be wanting to set Him free. Jesus must have seen differently to what I’d have expected to be able to utter the words: “Father, forgive them!”

Leading up to Good Friday we visited an area of Melbourne to share the Gospel. And as I walked and offered people tracts, looking for an opportunity to talk about what Good Friday and the Resurrection is really all about, and as I repeatedly heard words of ‘No Thanks’ I have to say it was hard to keep going, not to think, no one here is interested.

Then a thought came to me, I like to think it was The Holy Spirit, it sure sounds like Him. It said something like this, “Stop looking at these people with your eyes and see them as Jesus sees them.” That changed everything.

Instead of seeing them as people who were not interested, I now saw them as people that Jesus loved, that He died so that they might be saved, people he wanted to reach and He was asking me to reach out to them.

Today, wherever you go, any time you remember, I wonder if you would hear those words. I guarantee it will make a difference.