Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 3, 2015

the fourth voice

The following is an entry from my 2015 Lent journal.  The text was written after meditating on the scene which begins with Jesus being brought before Pilate and ends with the cries of “Crucify!”

There are four distinct voices shouting “crucify!”  The first, and most obvious, two are those of the chief priests and the crowd.  The third, and most painful, is mine.  I cannot escape the guilty verdict of my humanity.  I must confess the visceral hatred my flesh feels when confronted with its need of redemption.  If I do not hear my voice amongst the crowd, I do not see myself truly.  The fourth, and most powerful, is Jesus.  With his deliberate silence, Jesus shouts “Crucify!”  He knows any ground short of it means the death of every screaming, cursing face He came to redeem.  He sees my face as He scans the crowd.  He will feel my sins soon.  Jesus shouts, “Crucify!”, because it is the only way.  Thank you, Jesus.

How hard is it for us to imagine the Creator of the Universe having the word “Crucify!” on His lips as He spoke the world into being and breathed life into Adam?  But it is nonetheless true … “Crucify!” was always been the plan.  Sin would require a perfect sacrifice, and Jesus was the one and only spotless Lamb.  With every bit of power at His disposal, Jesus could have forgiven and vanquished every sin with the force of His hand or the command of His voice.  There were a million, trillion other ways He could have done this … but Jesus on a cross had always been the plan.  Would I have willingly created my own boys knowing that one day I would have to die so they might live?  God did.  He loves us that much!  He created us knowing that, one day, He would have to give up EVERYTHING to win us back and breathe life into us a second time (the first at our natural birth and the second at our eternal one).

As many times as I’ve read, heard or experienced the story, I can honestly say I’ve never heard that fourth voice.  I’ve heard the sharp-witted Jesus as He spoke directly to Pilate and the silent Jesus as Pilate demanded answers, but I’d never heard him shout “Crucify!”  By His willful submission, I believe He did.

This entire week, I have challenged us to see ourselves in this story.  This Story is our story.  Today I challenge you to turn your eyes upon Jesus and tune your ears to His cry of “Crucify!”  He did not choose the road more traveled; His journey was a solitary one.  Not even his Father could go with Him to its end.  He did that for you, and He did that for me.

Silence and unrest belong to tomorrow, stay present in today.  Observe and experience the darkness which fell on the land.  See His willful obedience to his Father’s plan.  Hear the fourth voice (the very voice of Jesus himself) shout “Crucify! … Crucify! … Crucify!”



  1. I do not believe I have ever heard someone put those words on Jesus lips quite like you have in today’s post. “Jesus shouts, Crucify!” Knowing His power as described by the written Word and His complete awareness of what awaits beyond Palm Sunday, I would agree. Perhaps this is the loudest statement ever said made without the use of lips!

    Jesus shares the following (from His lips) in John 12:23-28:

    “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

    I believe I can “hear” Crucify on His lips here.

    Thank You Jesus for knowing…..and sharing…..and being faithful to the very reason You came! 🙂

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