Cartoon by B.C.
I really should have taken the consequences, I deserved the punishment.
I watched him walk through the streets with that wooden cross. He had already been beaten to a pulp. His path to the killing ground could be traced by drops of blood now trampled on by the crowd.
I stood a comfortable distance away. Not too close as I might just be recognised. I tried to be close last night but someone recognised me. I denied ever knowing him. What a self-protecting coward I am.
I want him to see me, to see my pain and regret. Perhaps he might forgive me and if possible hold me. No, too dangerous for my heart. I have discovered who I am. I am a wretched man, nothing good resides in me.
Look at him though, groaning under the weight. He is perfect. He has never done anything wrong, nothing. He lived a perfect life. No blemishes on his record sheet, but now he is about to die a criminals death.
He looks at me, I take a gasp.
His eyes penetrate to the basement of my soul like a spear of light into a chasm of darkness.
Fear floods me. Is it rejection at the sight of my sinful wretched state, or is it love?
Why, it’s love! I don’t deserve this, I certainly haven’t earned it, even though I have tried to. I wasn’t even aware of just how dark my soul was until the spear of light invaded it.
The Vicar moves forward.
Oscillating, I move forward and back. I don’t know whether to run and hide from him, something I am familiar with, or to allow his approach to embrace me.
I am stuck, glued to the dirt below a cross.
I should be up there.
The nailed Vicar, spear wound in his side, dies as me.
Vicar Jesus took his name from the word ‘vicarious’.
Suffering in the place of another: vicarious punishment.
Taking the place of another; acting or serving as a substitute.
We had vicarious lambs as sacrifices but they were never perfect enough.
He forever has been and will be perfect. He lived the perfect life yet died a criminals death. The perfect lamb of God who took away my sin.
It should have been me.
How are you at receiving gifts, perfect, undeserved and unwarranted gifts? Comment below.