did Jesus see from His unique vantage point on the cross?
speaking, Jesus had a good view of the crowd that had gathered at
Golgotha. They were a strange and unusual mix of people, a diverse crowd
that, through Jesus' eyes, wasn't really a crowd at all, but rather
a collection of individuals, each with their own background and
viewpoint. Roman soldiers were rolling the dice just beneath Him,
dividing His clothing among them. A group of women were weeping,
mourning the death of the one that they had loved and followed. Jewish
elders were hurling insults at Him, challenging Him to prove His claim
to be the Christ: "He saved others, but he cannot save himself."
Jesus' disciples were there, as was His mother. Just as in today's
church, there was also a sea of spectators -- the same fickle crowd
that hailed Him as King of the Jews just a week before this dark day
of Jesus' death. .
The eyes of Jesus' soul
saw all these people with a much different perspective. As
He looked at His mother Mary, Jesus felt her pain at
watching her son dying such a slow, miserable death. He
compassionately commissioned the disciple John to care for Mary
after the crucifixion, calling him to care for her as his
own mother. The mob of bloodthirsty onlookers must have
caused an ache in Jesus' tender heart -- they didn't even
begin to understand what was unfolding before them.
Jesus looked down at them, rather than anger and bitterness, He felt
compassion. He prayed for them, "Father, forgive them, for they
don't know what they're doing." Jesus' disciples -- the
men with whom He had traveled and lived with for three years -- had
no more insight than the ignorant mob. He looked down at them,
seeing the confusion and ache of their hearts, knowing that He was
the only one on the hilltop who truly understood what was taking
place. He knew that their tears would, in time, be turned into
shouts of joy, and that fact wasn't dependent upon their
understanding, but upon God's faithfulness. .
the eyes of His Spirit, Jesus' viewpoint was one that He alone could
really comprehend. For the first time in all eternity, Jesus
experienced the sensation of being isolated from the Father. He saw
the demons dancing with delight, celebrating their supposed victory
-- but He also could look forward and see the view just three days
later, when those same demons would cower in the darkness. He saw an
eternal bridge that was about to be commissioned, a bridge that
would allow mankind the same sort of intimate, personal relationship
with God that Adam and Eve had enjoyed in Eden, before the fall.
the dying Messiah looked beyond the pain of the moment, He saw 3000
people receiving His salvation on the day of Pentecost, as cowardly
Peter, who had denied Him three times, boldly preached under the
empowerment of the Holy Spirit for the first time. He saw Saul of
Tarsus, vicious enemy of the Gospel, accepting the free gift of
grace that Jesus' sacrifice would make possible. He saw an Ethiopian
eunuch being baptized by Phillip in a pool beside a roadway. He saw
countless generations of mankind, for whom His sacrifice would make
possible salvation by grace through faith, for those who would
only receive that free gift. He saw Al Capone, D.L. Moody,
Adolf Hitler, and Billy Graham, each making their own, personal,
eternal choices. And, as He hung there on that cross, close to
death, He saw YOU, and He knew your name. .
then, although He still had the authority to call a legion of angels
to set Him free, He cried out, "Father, into your hands I
commit my Spirit." Then, He
bowed His head -- and He died.