Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand. Your flesh. It was torn for me. I was the one who should have received the lashing that turned Your back into meat. And the thorny slivers on the cross. The slivers that went into Your already shredded back to create gangrene. The lashing and thorns were supposed to be for me, not You. And the nails too, Jesus. The nails too. How could You go through that in my place?
Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand. Your nakedness. They stripped You instead of me. I was the one who’s nakedness should have been exposed, and put on display for the whole world to gawk at and ridicule. I was the one who was supposed to have been subjected to exposure, enduring both the heat of the day and the cold of that strange noon-time darkness. How could you have endured this for me?
Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand. Your blood. It was shed for me. If I had been the only sinner in the world, You still would have had to die to free me from hell. That was my blood that was supposed to be falling off the cross that day, not Yours. How could You love me that much?
Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand. Your every breath. Taken away from You a gasp at a time as You hung there by merciless nails tearing away at your life, rendering your lungs almost paralyzed, piercing Your soul. Each time You chose to ignore the screaming blood vessels in Your back and the unbearable spasms in Your arms and legs just so You could get just one more taste of breath, that should have been me. How could You volunteer Your own body to be tortured like that in my place?
Oh, Jesus, I didn’t understand. In the flames of Your fever and the darkness of my sins, You descended to a horrible place where God does not go. Completely forsaken by Your God. Completely deserted by Love. Not because You simply bore my sins, but You actually became my sins. How could You, who struggled a lifetime to make sure You never sinned, become exactly what You hated for me?
Oh, Jesus, I did not understand. All my little lies, little things I took home accidentally and kept, the strangers I never encouraged, the friends I never shared my love for You with, my arrogance in not following you. Oh, Jesus, I am so ashamed. How can I ever make it up to You? How can I tell You how sorry I am? I want to see You face to face and tell You how much I love You. How can I convince You to let me do that?
Jesus personally replies, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). Oh, Jesus, say no more! I do believe that You are the Son of God! I do believe!
Jesus personally replies, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3). I’m so glad You said that, Jesus! I truly am sorry for all those sins I have committed that caused You to die!
Jesus personally replies, “Whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:31f). Well, isn’t it enough that I believe? Do I have to get my friends involved? If I told them I believed in You, they’d kill my reputation. Are You sure, Jesus?
Jesus personally replies, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15). “Jesus came…to be baptized….’It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness’ ” (Matthew 3:13-15).
Oh, Jesus, I wish you hadn’t been baptized and said I needed to be also. My friends and pastor tell me I don’t need to be. I know they didn’t die for me, but surely they wouldn’t steer me wrong. Please, Jesus, not that! Please….
Would it be okay, Jesus, if I just do the first two ~ believe and repent? Everyone says that’s all I have to do to please You. I’ll even throw in the third one and tell a few of my friends what You’ve done for me because I believe in You. But the fourth one. I know You Yourself said to, but I just couldn’t! Please, spare me that! Please, Jesus! It would kill me….