History has been written. He was charged with trumped up crimes. He had been arrested by the leading priests out of envy. A kangaroo court was held at night. Bogus witnesses were brought in. Lies were told about him. Fabricated stories were shared to make the man appear to be a criminal.
He kept to his story. The truth. That’s all he had ever shared. No embellishments. No condemnation. He proclaimed that he was the great “I Am”.
He had been seen performing miracles. He had been heard explaining Scripture and prophecies in the temple. Some people were amazed at his teaching, while others ridiculed him for speaking the truth. His former neighbors couldn’t believe that this man who once was a carpenter was claiming to be the Messiah. The Savior of the world. He was saying he was God himself.
Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he performed a miracle on the Sabbath, they cried foul. He called them out for their double standards. They demanded justice. He looked at them with pity, for he knew their hearts were hardened against him and the truth. They plotted how to kill him.
The teachers of religious law claimed he was possessed by satan. How can God Almighty be possessed by the devil himself?
Now he was on trial. Crowds rallied against him. Even though they had witnessed his miracles. Even though he had welcomed them and their children with open arms. He had broken bread with them. He never spoke ill of them. His crime was loving them. That he was guilty of. There is no doubt.
When asked to prove who he was, he kept silent. He was beaten to a pulp. His clothes were pulled off of him. The soldiers rolled dice to see who would get a piece of fabric he wore.
Oh. He was mocked. He was taunted. He was spit on. He was abused to the nth degree. But they could not prove that he had sinned or committed a crime. Because he hadn’t. He was innocent.
When they placed the crown of thorns on his head, you can bet he shook with pain. When they heaved the heavy wooden cross on his back, he trembled from the weight of it. When he was forced to walk up the path to the hill of Calvary, he struggled from weakness. He couldn’t carry the weight of the cross alone. Someone else was forced to carry the weapon of death for him. When his side was slit open, he gasped from the shock. When the gall soaked sponge was pressed to his lips, he drank. Then his torn, worn out body gave up and breathed a final breath. It. Is. Finished.
This man was innocent of any and all crimes. But through the three years of his ministry, he was constantly ridiculed and mocked. He was denied justice. A hardened criminal was freed in his place. At his sentencing, a murderer was set free, and the innocent Son of God was sentenced to death.
Don’t be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36
His name is Immanuel. God with us. Whether we seek his presence or even acknowledge him, he is with us. Even now. So many years after his birth as a human, he is still with us.
Even as a toddler, he was hunted. King Herod went on a rampage and had boys age 2 and under killed. This child was on the wanted list before he could speak. How dare he even be born. This God child. It was his Father’s plan for him to physically come to earth. He knew his birth would start a revolution that to this day has never ended. But he still sent his son to live among God’s creation. He worked and moved among God’s chosen people and those who rejected God. He was one of them for 33 years.
And when the time came for him to show and prove his true identity, the naysayers also showed themselves for who they really were. Was it a crime to heal people? Was it a crime to speak the truth? Was it a crime to be God?
Some say it depends on who you ask. But it doesn’t. In this case, the truth will prevail.
He showed the world. The past world and present day. Sure. They killed the physical body that God wore for a few years. But they didn’t kill God. God isn’t killable. He was alive. He is alive today. And he will always live. He is not guilty of a crime. He cannot sin. He loves and He forgives. The one who died in that body on the cross is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven today. He is preparing space for you and for me to join him.