8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was [a]blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”
He said, “I am he.”
10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”
He said, “I do not know.”
For a lot of us who’ve received Christ, outside of the movies a crucifixion is an abstract concept, but every time we’ve seen it portrayed our spirit recoils a bit no matter who the victim is.
It is designed to cause suffering, suffocation, nerve damage, and that’s before death.
The whips were designed to tear flesh from the body, not just scar.
The crucifixion of our Lord was enhanced by beatings with fists, whips, a crown of thorns, and constant striking, spitting, hair pulling, and mocking.
Yet He asked forgiveness for his accusers and executioners, because He knew the nature of the world, and testified to it that its works were evil.
As He’s commissioned us to be His hands and feet as He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for our backsliding, those without Him remain in their fallen nature, being the hands and feet of our Enemy. As we are to go about preaching, they go about mocking. As we come fight against moral decay, they use the faithless and the cowardly to advance.
Christ told us: 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
The Apostle Peter experienced this first hand, and had to be restored. So have we, and so do we.
Christ was a miracle working man, yet untainted by the earthly seed of man. He was attached uniquely to the Father. But He also grieved, wept, and marveled, just as we do. I imagine there were times he even laughed. He got thirsty, hungry, and tired.
He climbed mountains to be alone and pray.
To heal Bartimaeus, He spit.
He is not only our Savior, but our Brother. He is not only our King, but our Friend. He is not only the Son of G-d, but our Shepherd. He is not only the Lion of Judah, but our judge. All of the latter terms are earthly offices, and all of the former divine in nature.
Let us not deny His humanity, though His works were of Heaven through the power of faith in the Holy Spirit, and the approval of the Father.
Bartimaeus received his sight, but didn’t know where Jesus went.
Let us thank the Father that today, we don’t have that problem, for Christ again tells us:
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That’s fitting, since He is the finisher of our faith.
Therefore I pray:
Never let the horror of Your sacrifice be lost on us. You suffered much, in flesh and spirit, for our sake. Those of us who believe and follow must suffer also, to share in the glory.
We don’t understand it all, but one day, we will, and that will be a glorious day for the faithful.
No hatred, war, bloodshed, evil intent, deceit, greed, lust, or transgression. All things made new, all evil destroyed. The light of the Father Himself will be our sun, and the heavens will ring with holy praise.
Help us to remember our places are prepared, our rewards set aside, our crowns given to throw at Your feet, for the silver and gold is Yours.
As Your prophecies unfold, help us to keep hold of the hem of Your garment, that we might be made whole, spotless before the Father, our unworthy names not blotted from the Book of Life, Your Book of Remembrance of us as You come into Your kingdom.
Help us to know that what we’ve read, seen, and heard in our own walks was appointed to us from before the foundation of the world. Some of us came later rather than sooner, and endured some unneeded hardship, but You applied the goads that got us to declare our faith in You, as we reached the end of ourselves and our own ways, lost in darkness too deep to dispel on our own.
As with Bartimaeus, some of us would declare it a late-life miracle indeed, but we are here, now, and all that’s left behind is no longer important. Our eyes are focused on You, and our lives, the very ones You gave back to us, are Yours to make what You will of them to the Father’s glory.
And for it, we shall be eternally grateful, dwelling with You in the sight of God, reconciled to Him forevermore.
May it be done to us as You have said.