It was MY sin that held Him there
Yesterday was Maundy Thursday. The service at our church was very convicting to me. As I listened to different passages about the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus, my mind wandered to the phrase in the song that says, “it was my sin that held him there, until it was accomplished.” I’ve always known that was true. But, I’ve tried to reason with myself, it was everyone else’s sin that held him there too. My sin is just as bad as any other sin committed by any other person, right?
Right…in a way. But listening to the passages about Judas, Pilate, and Peter last night, I considered like never before the parallels between their sin and mine. I realized for the first time that maybe the reason the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus happened the way it did is to draw our attention to the truth of that song.
Think about Judas. He was offered money to betray Jesus, so he took the offer and sought to give Him over to the authorities at his earliest opportunity. Judas valued money over Jesus. That’s just what I do in my sin. I decide that TV, friends, the internet, food, etc. is better than Jesus, so I exchange His beauty for those lesser things. I’d rather spend time doing anything other than being with Him.
Think about Pilate. He didn’t think Jesus was guilty. But he gave in and had Jesus executed because he was scared of the crowd. He stood idly by while Jesus was unjustly slandered and accused. Peter did the same thing; he was afraid to be associated with Jesus because of what he feared would happen to him. That’s just what I do in my sin. When I’m with a group of people who don’t uphold the name of Jesus, and who betray Him in their words and actions, I often just sit idly by and watch it happen, because I’m too scared of what they will think of me or do to me if I speak against them, and besides that, I’m too lazy to defend His holy name.
It occurred to me that all of the sins that I have or ever will commit fall into the categories of betrayal and cowardice. I’m either not doing enough to defend the glory of Jesus, or exchanging His glory for other things. Betrayal, idolatry, and cowardice rule so much of my life. I don’t think it’s an accident that the main sins that led to Jesus’ death parallel my sin directly. Jesus wants me to feel this: it WAS my sin that put Him to death! And I think He means for each one of us to feel that, too.
BUT. Get this. 1 John 2.1-2 says that “…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins…” The very One who we slander, betray, and are ashamed of died for those very sins and now intercedes for us before the Father. That’s the beauty of Easter. You see, Jesus loved us that much…He could’ve left us to perish, but He chose to make Himself nothing for us (Philippians 2.5-8), even when we were His enemies (Romans 5.10). And as He suffocated to death for us, He said IT IS FINISHED. The eternal destiny of all those who trust in Him is secure, because of His great love for each one of us.
As we meditate on Jesus’ death today, let’s remember that it was our slanderous sin against Jesus Christ that held Him on the cross…we are Judas, Pilate, and Peter…and it was and is His boundless love and relentless intercession on our behalf that has freed us from the bonds of sin so that we don’t have to live in fear and guilt anymore (Romans 8.1)!