Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.”
~John R. W. Stott
Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts. Consider that if one thorn pierced Christ you deserve a hundred thousand.
My friend Ray sent me this picture today, along with the quote by John Stott. The picture is called "Raising of the Cross" by Rembrandt. The interesting thing about the painting is not so much that Rembrandt painted himself in the picture (identifying himself by the light around him), he did that quite often. The interesting thing is what he is doing in the painting. He is the one raising the cross. What a realization! The same realization that Martin Luther and John Stott and many others throughout the centuries have made as well. I am the one that crucified Jesus. So as the next few days and hours unfold, as difficult as they might be, they are made more so by the fact that we (you and I) made it all necessary in the first place. Which is not so much meant to heap hot coals upon our heads, but to help us realize the full depths of the unfailing, extravagant love of Jesus.