The belt came through the last loop with a loud whip-like crack. First, it pounded the sidewalk like a warning. Then as his angry words were being lashed out, the belt came across the back of my legs.
I tried to out run my Dad’s thundering wrath, but my 8-year-old legs just weren’t fast enough. The chase continued down the street, the belt pelting my back, my arms, my legs. I had been to the playground and lost track of time. He came in a rage and chased me down the long concrete sidewalk.
Cars drove by, people watched from their front porches,they heard my cries for help, but no one intervened. I was being publicly beaten, publicly humiliated, publicly rejected, publicly abused physically and verbally yet not one person cared to stop the violence against me. Not even when the belt wrapped around my ankle causing me to fall. They heard my cry, but no one cared. Even as he grabbed me by the arm to pull me back up to my feet, ripping the sleeve of my blouse, no one came to save me from the ravages of an out of control man.
I felt afraid, ashamed, humiliated, defiled, naked, vulnerable, abandoned; a worthless, sinful person because no one cared enough to come to my rescue, to save me. I must have deserved his wrath.
Years later when I heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, I thought to myself, “He understands humiliation. He under- stands being whipped and brutalized publicly. He understands having clothing ripped and being knocked to the ground. He understands the rejection, shame, and abuse I felt.” I could identify with the horrors of His Friday. He knew I’d lived a life scarred by my own Fridays.
God cared enough to come to my rescue, to save me. Jesus bore the wrath that each of us in this sinful world deserved. He also showed me that I was not alone when I endured that “Friday” experience. He showed me that no matter what I’m facing, there is hope because “Sunday’s a Comin’.”
Tony Compolo’s short yet POWERFUL rendition of Christ’s Friday experience.
Video by Igniter Media. Available through WorshipHouse Media dot com.
- Talk About Repentance
- His Approval