And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments....Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:34, 46
As today is remembered as the day that Jesus was crucified, we need to examine the different mentalities surrounding people distancing themselves from the guilt of this public execution. Most often, we look at the negative traits of certain characters in the Bible and wholeheartedly believe that we would never do or act like those characters. That's the beauty of the word of God; it highlights all of our deficiencies because we are all broken and fallen people in need of the redemptive work that takes place on the Cross.
Many see Pharisees as modern-day priests, pastors, and preachers. This may be true at face value. However, it was never about the external appearance but always a matter of the heart. No matter your level of spirituality, if you subscribe to a set of morals, whether organized or self-constructed, you are religious to some extent. We have all erected a standard of living that we are not always consistent at following. So, we self-righteously condemn other people because we are threatened/challenged by their humility.
Judas Iscariot is probably one of the top five (5) villains of all time. No one would ever associate themselves with the likes of a Judas. However, many of us are more like him than we know or dare to admit. When we compromise our character or message because things do not go the way that we desire, we are Judas! When we take steps to success at the expense of others, no matter the collateral damage, we are Judas! When a certain amount of money can change our convictions, we are Judas!
Then there's Peter, the denier! Almost all of us would say that we would never deny Christ, but we do! We buckle under the strains of peer pressure. We are too afraid to stand out and be different from everyone else. So, we take the easy route to not upset the apple cart and blend into a culture that desperately needs us to reflect the Light of Truth (Matthew 5:16).
We may even reject an opportunity to assist a person in need because will lay blame on their own inadequacies while forgetting that Jesus never held us to that standard. Social status and acceptance becomes more important than being set apart as Christ has called us to be. We're, often, more spectators of Christianity rather than servants of our Savior.
Maybe you do feel like you are not a Pharisee, a Judas, or a Peter. Don't worry; the Bible has you covered. As it is written:
"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:10-12, 23
None of us can escape the reality that the crucifixion of Christ included the sins that we commit. None of us are perfect, and that's why Jesus had to die. We are all stained or broken to some degree, and no matter how good we think we are, it is not even one trillionth of the standard of goodness that's in God. So, God reckoned that He would provide a means of making us acceptable in His sight.
The Beauty of the Cross is that any sin, any stronghold, stain, and any stupid thing that we believe would make us unworthy of the love of God was nailed and died with Jesus. The strength of our doubt and unbelief breathed its last breath. The trial against humanity has ended, and Jesus assumed a guilt intended for us. The sentence was executed, once and for all.
Let us be grateful for the Kindness of Christ. Let us be grateful of the Glory of Heaven. Let us be stewards of this Grace.