“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” —Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Pilate: I have found no sin in this man worthy of death.
Crowd: Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
Pilate: It has been a custom to release one of the prisoners at this time. Be it Barabbas or Jesus?
Crowd: We want Barabbas!
Pilate: Well then, what shall I do with Jesus?
Crowd: Crucify him! Crucify him!
Pilate: It is your wish that shall be fulfilled. I wash my hands of his blood. Guards, take him away!
This past summer I worked at NeSoDak Bible Camp as a camp counselor, which made for a summer of life-changing experiences. Each week at camp, staff put on a play for the campers that walked through the last days of Jesus’ life up to his crucifixion; it was called the Christ Hike. One week, I portrayed the role of Pontius Pilate. That week was life changing for me as I began to realize what Jesus had done for you and for me.
The above excerpt from our play was a turning point in Jesus’ life where Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate” and then was crucified as it says in the Apostles’ Creed. Having to read those lines as Pontius Pilate, who sent Jesus to be crucified, was hard for me to portray. Following my scene comes the walk to the crucifixion. Watching Jesus carry the cross, I didn’t understand why he kept dropping it, even though I knew it was heavy.
Then one of my campers said something that put it all in perspective, “It is heavier for Jesus than anyone else because he is carrying our burdens and sins along with him on that cross.” And there it was, my “ah-ha” moment of the summer. Jesus took all of our sins with him to the cross so that we might be forgiven, making it heavy for him, but making our hearts light so that we might live a happy, eternal life. I get it!
Jesus died on the cross … one person died on the cross … to take away the sins and forgive the lives of many. Thanks be to God!
Dear Lord, Thank you for all that you do, from carrying our heavy burdens to answering even the littlest prayer. I am beyond thankful that you forgive me in my most horrible moments. Amen.