Among Rembrandt’s many self-portraits is the remarkable one in the painting Elevation of the Cross. The artist has included himself among the soldiers, struggling to raise the cross, weighted with the body of Jesus. Thus he shows that he believes what we all have been taught: that we were ourselves responsible for the death of Christ; that our sins put him there. So when we hear that haunting song, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” we all answer, “Yes!”
We do not see ourselves there in the person of his devoted mother, nor in the person of loyal John, nor even in the person of those who watched from afar. We see ourselves as being there in the person of the soldiers who drove the nails, raised the cross and hurled the spear. We also understand that when we continue to sin we crucify Him all over again. (Hebrews 6:6)
-Robert Shannon, Preaching May/June 1998
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