In 1995, I played the thief that went to Heaven in ‘Living Scenes” presented by Mabel White Baptist Church. The experience helped me see Easter from a different angle. I hope you will be blessed by it.
HE DIED IN MY ARMS
HE died in my arms. I felt HIS last breath. I heard HIS final, pleading cry. When HE trembled from the pain coursing through every cell of HIS being, I also felt it.
It shook me to my foundation – every sudden jerk, each wrenching twist and turn from a body HE could no longer control. And I could not put my arms around HIS bloodied frame and stop the hurt. I could not help lift HIM up so a precious portion of oxygen could enter HIS failing and collapsing lungs. HE tried so hard, several times to do so, but as the day wore on, HIS torn, beaten and ripped carcass of a body wore out.
How I wish I could have wiped the blood from HIS brow and stopped its downward stream into HIS blurred eyes. Eyes with an eternal perspective. Eyes which daily saw the prize HE always wants you to see. Eyes that look into the sinful hearts of man and can still find some good. Eyes filled with an unworldly gleam, a heavenly light.
This was replaced with pain, sorrow and bewilderment. Eyes which asked the question “why?”, and knew the answer to that question. But one thing remained. As HE strained to raise HIS head, HE scanned across those who gathered, those who put HIM there – some mocking, some crying, others stoned faced – the forgiveness was still there.
I longed to bandage HIS back which had been stripped of flesh, of form, and laid open to the elements. HE could not even lean backwards upon me to gain a second of relief from the agony.
HIS back was a sea of blood – one massive wound torn and sheared from one side to the other. Everyone who witnessed or those who have heard of this brutal event wince and cringe at the thought of the nails driven through HIS hands and feet. But do not forget HIS back. Unlike HE does each day for you, there was no one to watch HIS back because they had all turned theirs on HIM.
Every time HE moved, pushed HIS body upwards for air or grazed against me, the pain was excruciating as exposed nerves were met with splinters of wood that lodged themselves and moved deeper into the rawness bringing unbearable pain with the slightest breath.
There was no rest, not one moment of relaxation or comfort for HIM.
I would have done anything to pull the nails from HIS ravaged feet and hands. Instead they were pinned to a board like the fur of an animal hung above a mantel. A conquering prize of HIS enemies, hung in the open for all to see and admire. The prey – hunted, cornered and finally caught.
Feet that had traveled so many miles so the hands could perform miracle upon miracle were no longer of use. Feet that people had knelt to kiss and hands they longed to grasp instead were covered in the crimson red of HIS precious blood.
Now, their only movement was of strain and clutching to a life that was slowly fading toward eternity with HIS father.
I understand for I was with HIM every slow, exhausting, torturous step of the way. Through the mockery, the insults, the slander and spitting of the crowds, HE carried me all the way to Calvary. And at the same time, HE was also carrying you. Beaten, whipped, bloodied and stumbling, the “Rock of Ages” would not crack under my weight and your sins.
Even as the filthy sins of this world invaded HIS Holy and perfect body, HE found and gave your victory in death – the final act of service from the ONE who came to serve.
Today, you are washed clean, as white as snow from the blood of the Father’s Son. You continue, though, to scar yourself with sin, after sin, after sin and JESUS remains to wash you clean. Still, you do not seem to fully understand what HE went through for you!
But I do. All I have to do is look either way, up or down and I see the stains of HIS blood – stains that will forever remain as a reminder to those who have accepted HIM or who are seeking HIM. I am soaked in the blood of the ONE who came to give you life! Are you?
I heard HIS moaning. I felt HIS quivering body. I understand.
HE died in my arms.