It caught me off guard.
I was watching an interview with a teenager who was an eyewitness in last week's school stabbing rampage. Actually, she was more than an eyewitness. She was almost a victim.
What she said actually made me flash back to another day when innocent blood was shed.
Gracey Evans was in the hall at Franklin Regional High School when a fellow student suddenly began attacking students around her with two kitchen knives. Then, in an instant, he turned the knife on her.
She described what happened next: "My best friend stepped in front of me. And he got stabbed in the back."
Then the five words that transported my mind back 2,000 years...
"My friend took my knife."
That really hit me. Because that's what happened on that first Good Friday.
The Bible reveals to me the deeply personal significance of that Man agonizing on a Roman cross.
Jesus was taking my knife. So I could be, as the Bible says, friends with God (1).
The Bible puts it this way: "He loved me and gave Himself for me" (2).
First-person singular. "For me."
But not just for me. Again, the world's Best-Seller says, "He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross" (3).
Jesus was taking my "knife." The knife of the judgment I deserve for my rebellion against heaven. What blows me away is that the only man who ever lived without sin paid for the sin of all of us.
And I see in the horror of what He suffered, how costly, how grotesque my me-centered living really is.
Why? Why would He pay the penalty I deserve? That's what I have to know.
The Bible explains it in three words.
"He loved me."
Selfish me. Hurtful me. God-ignoring, God-disobeying me.
But He didn't want to lose me. He loved me.
Enough to take my knife.
So for me, Good Friday's so much more than some religious holiday.
It's very, very personal. "On my knees" personal.
He died so I can live.