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Long Ago and Far Away

“Therefore let all the house of Israel
know for certain that
God has made Him both
Lord and Christ–
this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this,
they were pierced to the heart
and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,
“Brethren, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:36-37

I have seen several movies about the crucifixion–and they were all very, very difficult to watch–super convicting–emotionally draining. But I wonder, is that crucifixion too long ago and far away to pierce my heart today?
“But I wasn’t a part of the crucifixion! Don’t try to strap guilt on me for that!”
I would say the same thing, but then I stop and think–what would I have done?
Would I have gone against the crazed mob? Wouldn’t they have yelled at me and knocked me down and kicked me for standing up for this self-proclaimed prophet, Jesus, who was creating such turmoil in the city? Suppose some of my good friends were shaking their fists and yelling just as loud as everyone else–Crucify Him! Would I have had the courage to tell them to “Shut up and think what you’re doing! You’re crazy! The man doesn’t deserve to die like this! He’s innocent!” He says that if you are not for Me, you are against Me1. He says if you are ashamed of Me today, I will be ashamed of you on the day we face each other–eye to eye2.
I’m loathe to admit it, but as cautious as we are today to let His words pierce our hearts–to defend Him against the profane oaths that are actually spit out in our living room–that are uttered against Him so casually–to risk rejection from friends or relatives by declaring our allegiance for Him–I wonder–are our hearts too hard to be pierced? Our silence screams out to those around us and they look at us and wonder: “Why don’t you say something? Are you afraid? Why don’t you defend your Jesus if He means so much to you?” Or would we say to Peter and the other apostles, “What can I do?”
I’m guilty. I confess that to you. Oh, I’m very brave and loyal when I’m surrounded by my Christian friends, but when I picture the hammer driving the nails into His wrists and feet–see Him wring His hands in agony–hear Him scream out in pain and it seems that no one around me is hearing what I’m hearing, I ignore them and hurry by because I really don’t want to hear my Savior’s name being dragged into the mud or to have people ignore Him. So I hurry by.
I repeat the question, is it too long ago and far away to pierce our hearts today?

Father, thank you for Your mercy. I like to think that should the day come when I am given the charge–“Deny this Jesus or die!”–that I’ll step out boldly and say, “I cannot deny Him. He is my very Life, my dearest Friend, and He has been loyal to me through many heartaches and trials. No. I love Him too much to deny Him.”
But if I’m so reticent now–is that the way it will be? Once again, Lord, thank You for Your mercy.

1Luke 11:23
2Mark 8:38

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.