The other day while I was reading the devotion Patrick and I are doing for Lent, I began to weep. The words were so powerful and hit hard in my spirit.
The story was about Pilate asking the crowd who they wanted released for the Passover. They called for Barabbas' release so Pilate asked what to do with Jesus. They cried out as a mob to crucify Him. Walter Wangerin pointed out that Jesus heard it all. How sad! Then Mr. Wangerin noted that the religious leaders who had brought Jesus to Pilate wanted the crowd to unite and force the hand of the Roman Governor. They gave no thought to the persons who made up the crowd. But, Jesus did. He was concerned for each individual that was caught up in the moment and shouted out the death sentence for Him.
Jesus looked into the crowd and saw each person and knew them. He, as God, knew their names, their hurts, joys, trials and triumphs. He knew their hearts. He knew which ones would someday hear about His resurrection and repent of their part in this mob hanging, and all of their sins against the Holy God. It is that thought that made me cry.
Jesus sees me. He knows my failures and my successes. He is fully aware that I too, have a spirit that is willing, but a flesh that is weak. He stood quietly and let the mob demand His death. For each of us He stands and accepts our sentence. He accepted the price for each individual, for me.
Dearest Lord Jesus, Your love is overwhelming and again I feel tears welling up. I am painfully aware that I have been in the crowd of people who call for Your death, not knowing that it should have been different. You wanted me to choose the right way to live, but I chose the wrong path. You never stopped loving me, even when my heart rose up against You and wanted to do away with Your love and light for my dark soul. Forgive me! I pray that when You see into my heart, You know that I am one of the crowd that will find You and accept Your promises. Thank You for seeing and knowing me.