There were hundreds who started there with Him once He hit the cross, guards, part of the crowd which had once followed Him into the city then turned against Him, some of His disciples who had stayed in the shadows, mingling in the crowd out of curiosity and genuine concern yet their fear of prosecution kept them hidden in the crowd. They had been with Him through all things, seen all of His miracles, healed the lame and exorcised demons in His name, seen all of the acts which He had done and heard all that He had said. They were His most trusted friends and when it seems He would have needed them the most they were nowhere to be found. Then, one by one, they all left. The crowd grew tired of the gruesome scene, many of the religious leaders filed out with other more important business to attend to, even the hidden followers slowly left, defeated and broken with no idea of what was really taking place. John alone stayed with His mother. It was Jesus Christ, all of Heaven, God, and the wretched human race. As the last of the sins of all mankind are applied to Him even His own Father turns from Him and looks to us. The same face which had been blessed at His baptism was now bloody and spit stained and all of it was necessary – all of it required. The sacrifice of Christ which brought glory to God as Christ died – bruised, torn, humiliated, naked, and alone as even when His own family and disciples had left Him then God Himself turned from Him – then, in that death, all those who are in Christ have been delivered in a legal transaction and are now justified before God. Those who did not take Christ’s sacrifice and apply it to their lives through repentance of their sinful lives and dedication to serving God get to look forward to going through the same thing. They stand before God, naked and alone – their friends who talked them into doing horrible things against themselves and others are nowhere to be found – their advocates who helped them to feel better about themselves when they felt convicted are now gone and they stand completely naked before a holy and perfect God who then reviews their whole lives. He’s seen each action and inaction and, to his horror, each of his wicked and flippant thoughts are examined in detail. Every time that the gospel was presented to him is shown to him, each thought he had in his mind as he thinks of his own false righteousness and applies it to himself as he justifies his own religion of self worship in favor of that of the living God in stark contrast to his screaming conscience. Eventually, as if it were needed, the final nail in the coffin comes when the Book of Life is produced and scanned to see if he is registered therein. When it’s shown that he never did anything of merit as all meritable acts are driven from Christ operating inside of us via the Holy Spirit, and he, being without the salvation of Christ, has never had that in him and is therefore cast into the lake of fire where the smoke of his torment speaks of the justice of our holy and perfect God and bring glory to His throne forever.
May Jesus Christ be glorified forever. He is truly Immanuel – God WITH us.