From The Foot Of Golgotha

April 18, 2003
by Jim Messmer

Luke 23:47-49 – The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. (NIV)

I had never been part of a drama before, but when our pastor pleaded for more men to participate in the Easter play, I couldn't say no. After months of set building, rehearsal, and preparing all the special effects necessary to present a realistic re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Christ, I found myself the recipient of a very special gift from God, which was to experience Christ's death, looking up from the foot of Golgotha.

I don't know how to explain it so that you may see what I saw, and feel what I felt, but I will do my best. Was it perhaps the realness of the fake blood that flowed down his face and neck from the crown of thorns? Was it perhaps the way his flogged and bloody chest heaved, as he gasped desperately for enough breath to speak his final words?

All I know is that no acting was required on the part of those who shared my vantage point. Our groans and weeping were unrehearsed. We watched, and shed real tears, as we looked up, from our hiding place among the papier mache rocks clustered at the foot of our Golgotha, at what was taking place on the centre cross. It was real enough for me to know that I can never make up for what my sin made Jesus suffer on that day. It was real enough to make my tears flow again, as I write this now. I only wish that everyone could have shared this heart-rending experience. Reading the crucifixion account will never be quite the same.

1 Peter 2:24-25 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (NIV)

Prayer: O Jesus, what You suffered for us! Father, forgive us for what we have done. Holy Spirit, keep the cross, the blood, and the pain fresh in our hearts and minds always. Amen.

About the author:

Jim Messmer
Washington, Illinois, USA

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