The Bad Guy

19 09 2012

We were sitting together in church. The sermon was in full swing, and my little friend was working hard on a Bible activity sheet designed for kids his age. Pencil in hand, he searched the pictures looking for Jesus. Each one illustrated a different scene from the hours surrounding Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, and his job was to find Jesus among the faces in the picture.

He carefully searched each frame, looking at the faces and examining the action. Easily finding Jesus, he leaned over and asked me who the other men in the picture were. I explained that they were soldiers who arrested Jesus. He looked at me with deep concern. Why did they arrest Jesus? A harder question. How do you explain hardheartedness and rejection of grace to a five year old? “They didn’t like what He was teaching about God.” I told him. “So they’re bad guys,” he declared.

The next picture brought a similar set of questions. Who were the people standing together in a mob shouting around Jesus? “Those were the people who shouted, ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him!’” I said. “Why would they do that?” he asked. “They didn’t like what He was teaching about God either.” I told him. “So they’re bad guys too.”

On it went through the pictures of the friends that ran away, the priests that handed Jesus to Pilate, the soldiers nailing Jesus to a cross, and a crowd mocking Him as He hung dying. My little friend’s tender heart could barely take the rejection, shame, and scorn being poured on Jesus. With each picture, he looked at the faces and said, “So they’re bad guys too.” With each frame, my heart got a little heavier because every time I nodded yes, I caught my own reflection in the mirror. I’m a bad guy too.

My Jesus Resolution today is to remember that the crucifixion is personal. He died for me. My sin demanded His blood. My selfishness required His sacrifice. The cross isn’t about sin in general. It is about my sin, and a Savior’s great love. The forgiveness that flows from the cross is personal too. His grace meets my guilt at its darkest place and washes me clean. It is changing me from ‘bad guy’ into the image of this amazing Savior.



One response

19 09 2012
Joy Wheeler

Good morning. Did you find out anything about Grandma Betty? I have a dr appt next Wed at 8:45 in Springfield. (one of those I had to schedule months ago – yearly with fasting lab work) I can come on that way as soon as its over if you need me. Sent from my iPhone

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