My eldest grandchild, Julia Salladin, attended Moody Bible Institute at the Spokane, Washington campus, and a few years ago asked me to edit an article she wrote for an assignment. We went back and forth by email and telephone, crafting it into a seamless piece. It spoke to me on a deep level and I got teary with every edit. The horror of that awful day did not stop Jesus from noticing a concerned, even terrified, woman watching as He went by and connected with her in love and compassion with one look. Julia captured the moment beautifully.
Her professor gave her an A+, and she wrote at the bottom of the paper how compelling and touching this was to her personally, and it would be turned into the school’s monthly magazine, Moody Mosaic, for possible publication. Time passed, and I had forgotten about it. Then one day when Julia was home, she handed me a Moody Mosaic. I thought that was very nice and I intended to read through it, but then Julia turned to page two and pointed to this article. I was thrilled to say the least, and wanted to share it with Trinity Church this Easter.
On a quiet morning, baking unleavened bread for the Sabbath and humming my favorite Psalm, I heard a low rumble, like that of a herd of camels, in the distance. I peered out the window, then rushed to the fire pit in the kitchen and took out the bread before it burned. Wrapping it in a towel, I ran outside to see the reason for the commotion. Heavy footsteps created a cloud of dust. Angry voices called out as though in battle. Before long, forms of men took shape, peevishly shaking their fists. The bitter taste of anger and fear turned my stomach as it thickened the air. When the mob advanced, the street instantly flooded with bystanders who looked as if they had come to watch a performance, pushing against one another to try and get a better view. Multitudes of observers crowded the streets until I felt smothered by the smell of sweat
Yet, all this faded as the image of a Man, bent over under the weight of a heavy cross came through the crowd.
Covering His back were deep gashes, the result of a Roman whip across it. Purple and blue bruises covered His face. The blood dripped from His crown of thorns intermingling with a once magnificent beard, now spit upon.
Suddenly, He looked up at me.
Unnoticed, the kosher bread slipped out of my hands as our eyes met. Our hearts connected instantly. His eyes beamed with love and compassion.
In a moment, a hush came over my ears. The sweet aroma of a newly budded rose filled my nostrils. My tongue could no longer taste the bitterness in the air, but only the sweetness of eternal life. His bruises could not hide the radiance of the Man’s face. It shone with the fire from a heavenly being. My heart raced, all the anxiousness of preparation for Sabbath melted away and I became aware of my own depravity. He continued the journey up the crowded street to Golgotha. As I turned and watched, the urge came over me to rush to His side and insist on stopping this injustice. However, I could not move. Then it dawned on me: this was His march to victory to conquer sin and death. He suffered this pain, humiliation, and shame for me. As I bent down to pick up the no longer kosher bread, I realized He is the true Bread
I could scarcely take it in.
As far as the storyline goes, Jesus still stops us where we are, and looks us in the eye through Scripture. He draws us unto Himself by the power of the Holy Spirit with its love and compassion, and tells us with one look, we are His own.
By Sandra Schoger Foster