“It is finished.”
These are the final words of Jesus Christ (John ch. 19, v. 30 of the Bible) when He died on the cross.
But why do we re-enact what Jesus did thousands of years ago if He himself said that “it is finished?” That He died for our sins “once and for all.” Are we not one of those “all?” Don’t we believe Him? Do we really think we can short-circuit God’s plan of salvation by experiencing a bit of pain ourselves?
The reason God sent us His Son, Jesus Christ, is because no amount of good works can cleanse us from the sins we have made. Somebody should be sacrificed, someone who is sinless. If we are to recreate Jesus’ experience on His way to the cross, we should ask ourselves first, are we sinless?
We’d like to believe that carrying a 50-kilo cross or puncturing our backs with spikes, or even having ourselves nailed on the cross will cancel portions of our sins. On the contrary, we are only accumulating more sin.
There is a saying that goes like “imitation is the best form of flattery.” And so we imitate the sufferings of Christ. But we cannot imitate the amount of pain he endured. Most of all, we cannot flatter Jesus. We cannot tell Him “hey, I can do that too!”
Even the most painful torture is incomparable to what Jesus experienced. But it is not the pain that defined the meaning of Lenten Season. It is possible for us to re-enact the agony, even yearly if we so desire. But the question is: can we die for our sins if that’s the only way to be saved? His death is the reason why we are all candidates for salvation. Not the pain.
We can imitate the pain, but never His death. Can we die for your sins? Yes, we can. Everybody can. All of us will die someday anyway. But the bigger question is: will you rise from the dead the way Jesus did?
If your answer is no, then all the self-inflicted pains, the blood and sweat, the torn flesh will be of no use. No amount of pain can duplicate the victory Jesus achieved in the cross.
Again, the question: can we rise from the dead?
Who’d like to try?
Me, I don’t. I’m sure I won’t.