Faith · Life in Mexico

His Wounds Have Paid My Ransom

 

I stood in the crowd in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico – among family, among strangers, among Mexicans, Americans, and those from around the world.  They stood on the stage – reenacting Jesus’ final days before the cross.  They spoke in Spanish.  I knew the story.

Jesus was bound and standing before Pontius Pilate, being tried for a crime he did not commit.

Mathew 27:

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

And Pontius Pilate turned to the crowd.

17“Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

And the crowd shouted, “Barabbas, release Barabbas!”

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24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”

 

And I wondered, if I had actually been standing there the day the story played out, what would I have said?  Would I have run up among the guards to save my Jesus?  Would I have been swept up with those around me and condemned Jesus over the notorious prisoner, Barabbas?  Would I, like Pontius Pilate, have tried to wash my hands of the whole thing – to claim that I could stand there among them and still be inocent?

The reenactment continued.  The crowd marched on.  The head of the guard beat a drum with their steps.

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And with every beat I heard the nails hammered into the arms and feet of Jesus. And I felt the weight of the decision made that day, the weight of God giving up his son to die – for Pontius Pilate, for the crowd, for me.

And the words of an old hymn, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, rang out in my head:

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

I know that it is finished.

 

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