Someone gave me a CD audio version of Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. It follows their books Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln. Listening to this book reminds me of how I felt after I watched Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ, a film noted for its dramatically graphic portrayal of Jesus’ suffering from beating, scourging, and crucifixion. I was glad that I had seen this movie because it helped me to better appreciate just how awful was the brutality to which Jesus had subjected Himself, but I simultaneously hoped fervently that I would never see it again, because once was enough. Similarly, O’Reilly and Dugard, through their precise and extended prose, helped me once again to think extensively about just how terrible was that final day of Jesus’ life…but, please, someone tell me I do not have to listen to this description again. Lord, help me to remember forever what You endured so that I will have no need to refer back to Messrs’ Gibson, O’Reilly, and Dugard.
When you read the four Gospels, it is possible to wonder why the apostles spent so much more time describing the crucifixion of Christ than they did His resurrection. I have to conclude that impressed as they were by the resurrection, they were even more impressed with how He handled the crucifixion. After all, it’s one thing to be the beneficiary of a miracle, but it’s quite another to bear up under excruciating and utterly-undeserved suffering – without complaint – hour after never-ending hour, minute after infinite minute. It’s one thing to know that He died for our sins; it’s so much more to know that He did so with such extravagant generosity of spirit in the face of such cruel hostility.