Has a doctor ever allowed you to use his stethoscope and listen to your own heart? I have and it’s a rather strange experience to hear the steady rhythms of that organ which started to function even before we were born and will continue beating until we die. The story has been told about a nurse in a hospital pediatric ward. Often she would let her young patients listen to their own hearts. One day as she carefully positioned the stethoscope for a 4-year old named Steven, she said to him, “Listen. What do you suppose that is?” He tightened his eyebrows in deep thought and with a bright smile asked, “Is that Jesus knocking?”
For a brief moment let’s forget about physiology and let Steven be our teacher. From the standpoint of our spiritual health and eternal destiny, he was right. Jesus Christ, the crucified Savior and the risen Lord of glory, is indeed knocking at the door of every human heart. For you see our heart is the very core of our being, the controlling center of our decisions and Christ is the only substitute, which provides salvation and eternal life for sinners. Before His death on the cross, Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Someone has aptly said, “It is a simple thing to say that Christ died for the sin of the world. It is quite another thing to say that Christ died for my sin! With divine, sacrificial love, Jesus refused to spare His own life. He died so that He could provide forgiveness of sins for us. Our Savior stayed on the cross, for you and for me! It may be an interesting pastime to point fingers at those who crucified Jesus, but it is a shocking thought that I can be as indifferent as:
(2) Scheming as Caiaphas,
(3) Calloused as the soldiers,
(4) Ruthless as the mob, or
(5) Cowardly as the disciples.
It isn’t just what they did to Jesus Christ; it was also you and me, who nailed Him to that tree. You and I crucified the Christ of God. You and I joined the mockery! If you have every studied the painting of the crucifixion by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt, your attention is first drawn to the cross and to Jesus. Then, as you look at the crowd around the cross, you are drawn to the faces of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes drift to the edge of the picture and catch sight of another figure – almost hidden in the shadows.
This, we are told, was a self-portrait of Rembrandt, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus there! Think once again of Rembrandt’s painting, and if you look closely, you will see that in the shadows you too are standing with bloodied hands, for Christ bore the penalty of your sin! And you should say, “He was wounded for me.”
Calvary’s cross reveals man’s hatred for God and God’s Love for man.