Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Come And Mourn With Me Awhile"1 (Lyrics)
John 19:30b – [Jesus] said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (KJV)
In 1951, when I was eight years old, my family did not regularly attend church, although I did understand that Jesus loved me. During Easter break that year, my family took a vacation to see friends in southern California, USA. One of our stops was at the Spanish mission, San Juan Capistrano, built in 1776. Moving to a darkened doorway from the brilliant sunlight, I stood to let my eyes adjust to the dimly lit building interior. When I could see where I was going, I turned toward a large display case on my left. I saw a lace mantilla and comb, a Bible, and then a sight that has left an impression on my mind, spirit, and soul for 70 years.
A wooden cross with a kindly looking man nailed to it was nested on black velvet fabric. I could tell that his hands and body had bled and that he had died. My eyes were riveted to the scene. Tears welled up inside of me. My young mind had so many questions. Who was this man? What does this mean? Why would a man have to die this way? Was this man important? Why would this man and the cross be in the case where you couldn't touch him? For some reason, I felt drawn in and wanted to be close to him, and I didn't want to leave when my mother came back to hurry me on.
Several years went by before I learned the good news of the gospel and the message of Jesus' death and resurrection. It was then that I realized that the kindly looking man on the cross at the mission, a crucifix, represented the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for the world. I believe that the Holy Spirit touched my soul that day in that mission. When I was fourteen years old, the image was still clear in my mind as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
We all come to know Jesus in as many different ways as we are individually unique. As we approach resurrection day and celebrate that Jesus is risen, let's draw close in a deeper way to Jesus Christ our Saviour. Let our minds be transfixed by the reasons that He gave His life for us and by His resurrected power to live again, that we might live with Him throughout eternity. Let us think of the ways that Jesus has touched us with His nail-scarred hands, His bloody forehead, and the wound in His side. He died for the sins of many, including ours. To His honour and glory, as He lives again, so will we when we come to Christ.
Prayer: Dear Father, in Your holy power, draw each of us closer to You as we learn to live life according to Your teaching. Help us to understand the depths of the sacrifice of Your only begotten Son Jesus. Amen.