I grew up in a church.
And maybe you did too.
Or maybe you didn’t.
But maybe, just maybe you have heard the story before. Living in America and with our technological advances, many have heard the story before.
Many have heard that there was a Son of our God who was sent as a servant, and although flawless took on the punishment we deserved. Because He was a perfect sacrifice and He suffered a death on the cross, we finally were forgiven. Three days later, the tomb He was buried in was empty. He defeated death and resurrected from the grave. Now, we have the opportunity to believe in His resurrection. If we believe, we get to go to Heaven once we die.
Maybe you have never heard this before, and if this is the case I invite you to read the gospel. John 3:16 is a quick synopsis. I invite you to accept Christ as your Savior, and decide to follow Him.
However, many of you read this story and did not even shudder. You have heard it all before. Nothing new. And for some reason this important foundation of your faith has lost its ability to make you feel anything…
You are numb now to the gospel’s power.
So you forget the importance of this simple story you have heard all “too many” times. On Easter you focus more on if you should wear Lilly or Vineyard Vines. Suddenly, hearing the gospel and believing it becomes a chore. Something you do, but don’t know why. Therefore, you actions begin to reflect a “kinda know the story” kind of person. When temptation is too strong, you give in. When the crowd is loud, you listen to them over your Savior. You aren’t passionate about the story because it has lost its ability to capture your heart.
We are a generation of Pontius Pilates.
And by generation, this does not exclude you baby boomers. Don’t think you can tag your millennial children in this article claiming the only generation suffering from this numbness is the crazy young ones. No. By generational problem I mean everybody currently living in the mainstream American society. Many of us who say we are Christians are actually Pontius Pilates.
If you don’t know who Pontius Pilate was, he was the governor who sent Jesus to be crucified.
Read Matthew 27.
Pontius Pilate not only knew that Jesus was an innocent man, his wife came to Him saying “have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night, I suffered much on account of him.”
So Pilate thought he found a way out. He would as passover tradition offer either Jesus or Barabbas, a horrible criminal and murderer, up for release. Pilate knew the rulers sent Jesus to crucifixion because of selfish reasons. He thought he found a loophole to set the perfect man free, but make it the people’s choice. Safe political move…
But the people picked Barabbas. They decided the murderer was more worthy of freedom. The picked Barabbas over Jesus, a perfectly innocent man. And when Pilate asked the crowd what had this many done all they could shout was two words.
Mark 15:15 “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
Total politician move right? One going against own morals to please a group of people.
Actually, not just a politician move, I think this is a society move we have here in “American Christianity.”
I know the story. I know Jesus was perfect. But does this story and His perfection hold enough power to cause me to stand up for who I believe in?
Do I simply know Jesus is a good guy?
Or do I stand by Him?
Do I give into the power of peer pressure? Or do I tell temptation no, focusing fully on living a life that cries over the crowds… He is the Lord. He has risen. And He will come again.
We are numb to the cross because we get too distracted with pleasing the crowd. We are numb to the cross because we aren’t focusing on the cross.
You should have been on that cross. On that dreary day, a perfect man took the fall for your sins.
It is kinda like that group project you were once in where you did all the work. But the other person still got an A without even replying to your text about meeting up.
YES, NOT FAIR.
But the beautiful thing about grace is it is not fair.
The cross should never be looked at as just another story we tell our kids at age 6 in order to maybe give them a chance of Heaven… if it does exist.
The cross should be what we remind ourselves daily. The cross tells a love story more beautiful than any Nicolas Spark’s book. Love was created that dreary day when Jesus was stabbed to a cross.
Yes, you aren’t perfect. But are you striving to look to the cross as a sign of love? Or are you looking at the cross as a burden for you and your popularity? Are you focusing on the pressures coming from the crowd’s voices? Or, are you focusing on the innocent man being stabbed and mocked in order for you to get a second, fiftieth, or even seven-hundredth chance.
If you are numb to the cross you aren’t fully looking at the cross. You mind is wandering to the world. You are listening to the sound of the crowds saying God is not able, faith doesn’t make sense, and the cross is simply a jewelry statement and not something that should change your everyday.
Stop listening to the crowd and listen to your Savior who as you sin is being nailed to the cross and saying to Our Father “forgive them for they know not what they have done.”
It is finished. You have the opportunity to do life with your Savior. You must remember the cross and never forget the painful sacrifice that took place that dreary day. The story is powerful and worthy of every feeling but numbness. The question is will you stand for Him or simply know He is innocent? There’s a big difference.
Photocreds Sarah Berlinsky, instagram: sarahberlinsky , website: www.sarahberlinsky.com