What my Vicar did as Me

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.

Barry Pearman

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