The following post is a re-told version of my experience of a production of the Passion Play during my trip to Mexico.
I sat there, eyes watery, heart pounding, holding a slip of paper with my worst sins written out in a letter to God. I had always known that what I did was bad and that I was a terrible person but writing them out had really shown me the magnitude of them and I was now overwhelmed.
A man in a long white robe came towards me, and lifted me from where I was standing. He took my slip of paper and with it my guilty feeling. I felt refreshed, and relieved. As the man left, I realized that it was none other than Jesus! I ran after him, hoping to speak to him, praying that he would not disappear.
He hadn’t been too far in front of me but for some reason, to my dismay, Jesus was gone when I arrived. I stopped, sighed, and leaned against a palm tree for strength. I had been running hard and I needed a rest. I was weary, disappointed, and guilty again.
Suddenly, out of no where I heard shouts and cries and a piercing scream. I turned around to face the worst sight of my life. Guards accompanied a man carrying a cross while women and children wept and walked behind him. This wasn’t any man though, it was Jesus, my Jesus and He carried my sins with Him. I wanted to scream but no sound could come from my lips. I was too stunned, too scared.
They nailed Him to that cross with haste. I stood there, watching in silence. Tears clouded my eyes. I had always known that this was coming but I did not know how very much it would impact me. The blood streamed down his body. Blood that should have been mine. Blood shed because of my nasty, sinful behaviour. Blood shed by the King of Kings for the wretch that I am.
“I’m sorry God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t know. Oh I am so sorry.” I uttered quietly. The tears kept flooding and the screams from the others grew louder. “I’m sorry!” I almost shouted, as if that would help. It didn’t. He still lay there on the cross, bleeding, in pain for my sins.
“I am so sorry…”
I felt awful. I was sweating and crying.
“Forgive me God!”
The tears were pouring down my cheeks now.
Then, like a crash it was over. The crying died down and my tears stopped. Music sounded from the distance.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see so clearly. Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me. Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away.
And then I heard His voice, so strong and firm and lovely, despite the pain. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
His voice seized me and filled me with joy and hope and then, even though He was dead, even though He had shed blood and been tortured and had died for my undeserving soul, I felt fresh and new and I could sing. For grace like rain was falling down, and all my stains were washed away…I had been forgiven.