This morning as I gathered with three colleagues for prayer, one of them read an excerpt from a Henri Nouwen Lenten devotional. I was trying to focus, to take in all the depth and beauty with which Nouwen wrote. And when this sentence was spoken aloud, “And you were nailed, naked, to the cross,” a single word leapt out of the pages hit me square in the heart.
Jesus was nailed to the cross naked.
33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” (Luke 23)
The Son of the Most High God was nailed to the cross naked.
Can you imagine?
The humiliation. The intense vulnerability.
That he chose to do this. For sinners. Out of his intense love for us.
Whew. It’s more than I can comprehend, yet it’s so endearing and beautiful that I almost don’t have words.
It speaks to me about Jesus on a whole different level. It’s not easy to think about Jesus being humiliated. It’s not something that we like to associate with him. That he was willing to do all this.
He was JUST LIKE US – human on all levels, suffering humiliation, shame…pain. He knows. HE KNOWS. He understands our pain! He’s THE God who humbled himself out of LOVE. Naked. On a cross. For all the world to see.
Doesn’t it make you love him more? It sure does for me.