I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “High on a Hill”

The day was cold. Rain had poured down soaking the ground. The river was flooding, water rushing over the jagged rocks and forcing its way south.

On the bank stands a Man. He looks up to the sky, whispers a few words, and takes a seat under the only tree. A large tree; a tree with arms reaching to heaven, strong arms, arms filled with lush leaves and a trunk that can stand any storm.

The sun begins to peek through the dark gray clouds. Sighing heavily, the Man stands. He takes a few steps toward the raging river. He lifts one foot and slowly places his toes in the water.

He hears the sound of horse’s hooves drawing near. Louder and louder they come. Turning slightly, He glances over His shoulder and His lips quirk at the corners. He knows who is approaching and why they are coming.

The horses stop nearby. Men in their soldier gear dismount and approach. One man points his finger toward the Man by the river and yells, “That’s Him!”

The soldiers quickly walk toward Him and grab Him. But one of the men in the group is the Man’s friend and quickly draws his sword. He swings at the soldier and misses his target lopping off a part of his ear. “Oh rats! I’ll get’cha this time” the friend thinks.

The friend raises his sword and takes aim.

The Man chastises him.

He lowers his sword and takes a step back.

The Man places His hand over the bleeding ear of the soldier, healing it.

A few questions are asked and the soldiers lead the Man away.

The hill is high. The skull carved in the rock beneath the three crosses is a testimony of the evil that is taking place. The Man hangs limply, nailed to the Cross. His strength is gone. Blood pours from His wounds. Slowly lifting His head a mere inch from His chest He asks His Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The blood drips, water oozes from His side, pain sears through His body and weakly sucking in a breath His last labored words set the world on edge…

“It is finished!”

***

John 19:30 “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

***

Jesus’ sole mission on earth was to bring sinners into His saving grace. He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell but because we have been given free will He will not force Himself on anyone. Christ walked that path down the hill to Golgotha where He was nailed to a rugged cross. There were those who jeered, some mocked, some cried, others stood mute. An innocent Man who wanted nothing more than to show His great love to all of mankind hung bleeding, dying a most horrific slow death. I can’t imagine His pain. I can’t imagine the suffering He felt physically and emotionally and to be betrayed by friends, to look out over a crowd and see angry faces staring back at Him and then to ask His Father to forgive them. Those people are us! We do not deserve His love. We do not deserve His grace or His mercy and yet if we ask, “Father, forgive me,” He will, in a split second. Aren’t we glad that Jesus was obedient to the Father and so should we.

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The Path

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As I walked the path of

suffering

Tears filled my eyes.

The Lord spoke

quietly,

a whisper while I cried.

“I walked

your pain of

suffering,”

He whispered in my ear.

“And now,

My child,

you are walking

mine.”

I  have walked the same path of suffering (The Way of Sorrow) that Christ did in Israel, when He carried the Cross on His bloodied back. It was not a short path, it took a while to walk. The walls on each side of the path were filled with sharp glass and shards that would cut deep if anyone was to try to escape. I can’t imagine the pain our Lord felt. He was weak, He was a bloody mess. His back and body beaten and that was no small cross that He labored to carry.

We all have had a path of suffering. It may be short or it may be long. Each of us have suffered in some way. It could be the loss of a loved one, a devastating illness, abuse, financial devastation, divorce or any number of things. But remember the Via Delorosa, the path of suffering. Christ walked to His death so that we would be free from the sufferings in this life. He took our pain, “By His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53:5) He is our peace and our comfort. We never walk those times of suffering alone.

Thank you Lord that you walked to the Cross and not away from it. Without Your willingness to die for  us we would be doomed to hell. Thank you that You are always with us and share in our suffering. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Blessings to you.