I put this image up because it is one of the images most of us think of when we think of this day. However, I challenge you to find a different image today… See yourself in today… see yourself in Judas, sharing His table, and then betraying Him. Or in the soldiers and temple police, who arrested Him; confused as to the rightness or wrongness of what they were doing.
See today through the eyes of Peter as he cuts off the ear of the high priest’s slave—impulsive and gung-ho, but completely wrong. Or see yourself in Malchus, whose ear was cut off, simply because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time…
Perhaps see yourself through the eyes of the woman at the gate who confronted Peter or in Caiaphas and Annas whose pursuit of power and legitimate, but blind, concern for their faith and their nation could not have been more wrong.
See yourself as the policeman who slapped Him in the face to impress the high-priest, or in Pilate, unconcerned with the truth; a politician making the most expedient decision to dispose of a political problem. See yourself in those guarding Him, flogging Him and insulting Him. See yourself in Barabbas, freed while a scapegoat suffered in his place.
This day is about me in the crowd… Among those who prefered their blood sports to Him. This day is about me in the two criminals crucified with Him. This day is about me in the soldiers who crucified Him; who callously divided His possessions even as He died.
And so I have a choice. This day I can look at Him up there on that Cross or I can consider the ways I helped put Him there. Or, I can accept that my life is His gift, and my worst attributes and behaviors are transformed through His life.
This I believe…