This is Day 12 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
I despise so many of the things I've done in my past. I've hurt so many people. When I think of the things I've done, the people I've hurt, it hurts me, too. I feel like I could rip my guts out.
But the one I hurt the most is one I too often take no blame for. My sins hurt Christ worst of all, for as King David lamented to God, "against You alone have I sinned." (Psalm 51:4). Yet, I normally think of Jesus being tortured and killed by Romans soldiers, the Pharisees, or other people thousands of miles and thousands of years removed from myself.
But the truth is I am just as responsible as them for Christ's crucifixion. Whenever I sin I lash Jesus' back with the cat o' nine tails, I press the crown of thorns into His scalp, I beat Him with the reed, and I nail Him to the cross.
Recently I heard someone talking about Jesus being beaten with the reed, and how it is believed that He was hit so hard that His eyes filled with blood. That image really affected me.
But it is only by God's grace can I realize that I am the one who beat Him with the reed. I am the one who nailed Him to the cross. I did it every bit as much as the Roman soldiers did.
Contrition is a gift from God. God wants us to have contrite hearts but we are too wicked for that. It is only by His grace that we can weep not only for our sins, not only for what happened to Jesus, but because our sins are the cause of what happened to Jesus. Without God's grace I cannot truly admit in my heart that my sins caused His suffering.
I have hurt Jesus far more than I have hurt anyone else, and if I could truly admit in my heart that my sins caused Christ's suffering, then perhaps I would finally quit sinning.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Peter Puckett series, a Christian children's fantasy that explores what it means to know and love Christ through exciting adventures. His books and blog can be found at rcvanlandingham.com.