I know she didn’t mean to do it.
When my daughter Tiffany was six, she had a friend down the street who was able to encourage her dark side. My sensitive, tender-hearted daughter. Who cares deeply for people.
Not so much this particular day.
We have a spring-fed pond right behind our house. The kids have fished, caught turtles, lost soccer balls there.
Tif and her friend decided to play in the pond. Not something we encouraged. The stuff on the bottom was gross.
Not wanting to just stand in it, they picked up the pond scum and played with it.
Then they smeared it on the wall of our neighbors’ home.
Not knowing about the incident–they cleaned up at the other girl’s home–I answered the door to my kind neighbors informing me of the girls’ escapade. Ed and Sylvia were gracious to a fault.
I was appalled.
We had the girls carefully wash the walls of the pond scum–not an easy task on stucco.
Tif wrote a letter of apology to Ed and Sylvia. Owning her actions. Asking for forgiveness.
The hard part was that they didn’t totally get it off. The very faint reminder of my daughter’s dastardly deed glared at me any time I was in the back yard. My neighbors graciously forgave and put this behind them.
I wanted no reminder of what had happened.
Often when I make bad choices, I want to do what I can to make it right. To erase the evidence of my poor thinking. Clean it up.
I do that with the cross, too.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. An historical event marking Jesus’ crucifixion.
As a Jesus follower, Easter is the day I value. When He conquered death, offering life to all who believe in Him.
I mentally sanitize this event.
I’ve grown calloused to the horror of what happened.
His scourging was done by a Roman soldier beating Him with a “flagrum” or heavy whip. Two small balls of lead were affixed to the end of each piece of leather. He was whipped till the skin hung off His back in strips. They stopped short of death. He was now covered in His blood, in shock, dehydrated. A crown of two to three inch thorns was pressed onto His head.
He was stripped naked and carried the “patibulum”, or crossbar, of the cross on His shredded shoulders. 100-125 pounds of rough wood.
He was nailed to the cross, spikes driven between the two bones in His wrists, a larger spike driven through the arches of His feet, which were extended, toes down.
Maximum pain; minimum blood loss. Hours of intense suffering.
Insects would burrow into His sores. Birds of prey would peck at His eyes.
Humiliated. Unbelievable pain.
For love. To save us.
This pain is nothing compared to the horror of bearing our sin under the wrath of God. Spiritual, physical, mental, emotional anguish.
I’m working at not sanitizing the cross. Not trying to clean it up to make it politically correct. Seeing it in all its gore makes me aware of the high cost of His love. For me.
I’ll look at the blood.
And thank Him for the undeserved privilege of not having to experience it myself.
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