Were you ever blamed for something you didn’t do?
My brother (nineteen months older) hardly ever originated the misbehavior we got into, but he usually went right along with whatever I thought up. That was my job; I was more inventive. Of course my Mom knew all about me, and punishment usually fell with more force upon me! But I had a bad habit with which I handled these situations. I always knew what would happen if I got caught, and I weighed my options; if it wasn’t worth it, I didn’t do it! And if I thought it might be worth it, IF I got caught, it was full steam ahead.
So, I clearly remember a time when my brother actually talked ME into something. We rode our bikes down Germantown Avenue, which we definitely were not allowed to do (we were young), because he wanted to look at a balsa model in a toy store. I wasn’t interested, but I went along anyway. But who did we see, and who saw us and would report us to our mother, but a nosey neighbor! That evening did not promise to be pleasant.
Mom was waiting for us when we got home. The reason we were down there never came up, but she immediately pinned me to the wall with that look, and sent us to our rooms. My brother, the rat, did not confess or mention toy stores, and since my mother’s focus was on who instigated the crime, she somewhat naturally landed on me. And I was the one who lost the use of my bike for a week, during which time I did not speak to my brother.
I know it doesn’t even compare, but I often ponder the life-changing sacrifice Jesus made for us. He knew what crucifixion was; it was horrible, but not uncommon. But complete separation from God? Separation from the very part of Himself which He treasured most? To the place where He cried out to His Father, “Why have you deserted me?!” How could He have known in advance how awful that would be? And then, unbelievable and even incomprehensible to us, this God/man who had NEVER sinned was accounted guilty of every human sin, past, present and future! He bore that burden in His heart and on His shoulders, for us. For us. Because God loves us that much. And because Jesus agreed to pay for us. And did, for agonizing hours on the cross. Until He was finally, finally able to say, “It is finished.”
How can we ever consider this lightly? How can we not shudder as we try, unsuccessfully, to imagine what that must have been like! If we have ever borne the blame for another’s action, we must know that we are no closer to any understanding of the tremendous part Jesus played in God’s plan to bring us, purified, into His presence, justified and worthy to spend eternity with our God and Savior. We can only bow in grateful praise to God for caring for us enough, and wanting our companionship enough, to sacrifice the perfect Lamb, His Son, for us, unworthy as we are in our own sinful nature. And for us never to die! Oh, unless Jesus comes back first, our bodies will surely die, but we won’t need them any more! When Jesus rose again on Easter morning, He conquered death for us! Our souls will not die! We will be ushered into the presence of God, to live there in new, strong bodies, forever!