Pastor Jim Stultz
So Close, Yet So Far
God’s people should be constantly reminded of the events that happened during the last week of our Lord’s time on earth. His suffering, his death, his burial, and his resurrection hold a precious place in our hearts. What would it have been like to have actually been there, to have stood in Pilate’s hall, to have walked Calvary’s road and to have been near the cross? As we look in the pages of the Bible, we find that some people were so close, yet so far away.
Pilate was very close to Christ. He spoke to Him and found that He was an innocent man (Luke 23:4). He even tried to release Jesus. However, when the Jews accused Pilate of not being a friend of Caesar, he allowed the sentence of crucifixion to be carried out. Pilate may have been favorable to Christ but being politically correct meant more to him than justice. Even today, people may have a favorable opinion of Jesus, but they are still so far from Him. They extend their sympathies toward Him but will not accept salvation from Him.
The Jews were close to Christ as well. They were of the same blood as Jesus. He was one of them and came as their Messiah. Yet the Jewish leaders and the crowd in the streets of Jerusalem cried out “away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him” (John 19:15). They rejected their Savior. They were so close in relation, yet so far from redemption. Perhaps they were like many today who want to have some form of religion but don’t want to change their lives.
At the cross we find the soldiers were also close to Jesus. But instead of gazing in wonder and worship at the Savior on the cross, they were gambling in wickedness for His clothes. In the shadow of the Son of God their cold, callused hearts only thought of profiting by His demise. The soldiers were so close to the wood, but so far from the blood.
During the Easter season we hear about the horrible crucifixion and the glorious resurrection of our Lord. The old, old story is told in our churches. But with all the exposure and all of the celebrations, I’m afraid that many are still so far away. Don’t allow that to happen to you. Draw near the cross, after all He died for you.