Crucifixion Experience

This is the story of an experience I had on Wednesday night, August 15. I was sitting in the prayer room reading Matthew 27, and as I often do during key moments in the Gospels, I closed my eyes and entered into the scene in my imagination. I won’t claim this was any kind of open vision third heaven experience, nor will I claim that this entire thing is prophetic, so take it with a grain of salt, but I definitely ended up experiencing some emotions that did not come from me, at least in a small measure. In my imagination, I was watching the scene from heaven’s perspective:

 

I am in heaven with the angels and the Father, watching Jesus being beaten below us. The angels are silent in horror, and it feels like all of heaven is silently screaming, “NO! Not the Perfect One! Not the Righteous One! Anyone else, but not Him! Do you have any idea Who you’re abusing right now?” This is the glorious eternal Word of God, who shines in light and has eyes of fire. He is perfect, spotless, marvellous, glorious, and there he is, stripped naked, dripping blood, ripped to shreds, taunt after taunt echoing around him. These angels have spent their entire existence worshipping and serving the Son and gazing on his radiance, and now all they can do is watch.

Michael grips his sword anxiously. “Just say the word, just say the word,” he mutters. One word from Jesus would send the armies now poised on the edge of heaven swarming down to the earth to free him and strike in vengeance against his executioners. But Michael is restrained. All he can do is watch.

And how the Father suffers! Every lash of the whip cuts deep into the Father’s heart, and I feel it as well. This is his Son! The apple of his eye and the joy of his heart since eternity past, heart of his heart, Spirit of his Spirit, his partner in creation and redemption. And this Beloved is now receiving the brunt of every kind of cruel abuse and rejection.

And then it gets worse. The Father unleashes his wrath and forsakes his own. He is sitting on the throne, gathering every ounce of anger and judgment stored up from every corner of history and hurling it all down on Jesus like lightening. I can see the lightening flashing out of his hands as he screams in fury and agony. He hates what he is doing, but he is fully committed to doing it.

God, what kind of sick, twisted agreement have you made?

The accuser stands before the throne gleeful, lashing out every accusation against the Holy One. “He has lied, he has coveted, he has committed adultery, child abuse, theft, slander, rape, genocide, holocausts, abortion, blasphemy, pride, homosexuality, idolatry, witchcraft, injustice…” The list goes on and on. Every sin from all of human history is blamed on Jesus.

And the Father is silent. There is no intercessor to defend him before the throne of judgment. The Father cannot speak one word in his Son’s defence. Instead, he stands in agreement and continues pouring out judgment.

And Jesus! Hanging on that rough wooden cross, arms outstretched, completely vulnerable and abused and violated in every way. And he knows what is happening. This spotless, glorious soul feels his spirit overcome with the filth of sin without measure, smothering him like a living tar. And Holy Spirit, who from eons past has been his best friend and partner in every glory and every burden, abandons him. Jesus is completely alone, humiliated, cut off, tormented.

“ELI, ELI, LEMA SABACHTHANI?”

One last laboured breath escapes his cracked lips… and he is still.

The Father falls back on the throne, spent, empty. It is finished.

In the temple the veil tears, and in the cemeteries bodies climb out of tombs. Already what will be is leaking backwards through time. But the sky is grey, and the onlookers at Golgotha are silent.

“Truly this was the Son of God.”

Jesus’ body is laid away. The disciples cower in the upper room. I am with them. They are dumbfounded. I try to encourage them, but my words mean nothing to them, and they sound hollow even to me. There can be no joy today.

But then Sunday morning! The women are going to the tomb. I go with them elated—I know what has happened.

Oh, that glorious empty tomb, with the wrappings neatly folded on the bench!

And then – THERE HE IS! He is so beautiful, so ALIVE, every bit of skin restored and glowing. Just the scars remain, and even they are beautiful beyond belief.

Jesus, what was your first thought when you woke up in that tomb?

“It’s over. It worked. WE GOT THEM.”

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