It truly is impossible to put into words the level of suffering that Jesus endured for us. Today is a day to remember the price that was paid for us. May we slow down for a moment and take in the scene on Friday….
There was the physical suffering – sweating like drops of blood in the garden…being beaten with fists and slapped in the face during His trial…being scourged with a whip filled with shards of rock and broken bone and metal that tore open His flesh…having a crown of thorns jammed onto His head…being beaten on His head with a reed…being forced to carry His own cross that weighed upwards of 100 lbs through the streets…enduring His hands and feet being pierced through with nails…enduring six grueling hours of constant and unimaginable pain on a cross.
There was the emotional suffering – He was betrayed by one of His own disciples, Judas…He was denied three times by His closest disciple Peter…Members of the Jewish council spat in his face and mocked him repeatedly as they would hit him and then say ‘Propecy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?’…The Roman soldiers gathered the whole Roman cohort (480 soldiers) around Him and mocked Him (teased and made sport of Him and belittled Him)…These soldiers put a robe and crown on Him and pretended to hail him as king as they laughed…One of the criminals crucified next to Him mocked Him…For those six long hours people constantly hurled insults at Him, rejected Him, and told Him that He was a failure and that He couldn’t even save Himself.
There was the spiritual suffering – ‘10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief.’ – Isaiah 53…’God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ Jesus fully drank the cup of God’s wrath for us. He drank every last drop. As He cried out ‘My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?’, He was taking the full force of God’s wrath upon our sin. Jesus had always eternally existed in a perfect union of love with the Father but in that moment, the perfect and spotless lamb was punished for every every single rape, murder, robbery, human cruelty, immoral act, gossip, slanderous remark, dishonoring of parents, and every sin of the mind, heart, and body that has every been or ever will be committed by the human race.
Yet, all of this evil, pain, suffering and mockery were no match for the all-consuming love of God. When love and hate met that day…Love came out victorious. One statement that Jesus uttered over and over throughout the six hours was, ‘Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing…’ Truly, Jesus paid it all! The question is will we simply let go of our own efforts and receive this pricelss gift of forgiveness?