Why Would the God of All Things Die for You?
March 17, 2016
Many of us have seen the movie, "The Passion of the Christ," and have seen the physical agony that Christ endured before and during the crucifixion. He was slapped, whipped, had a crown of thorns jammed on His head, was flogged until the skin came off His back. He was mocked, derided, taunted and laughed at. Jesus was tried and convicted. He was forced to carry His cross down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem until fatigue, loss of blood and weakness forced the Romans to choose a bystander to carry the cross the rest of the way to Golgotha. There at Calvary, He was nailed through His hands and feet and hoisted upright onto the cross, where He slowly had His physical life ebb away.
Despite the incredible physical pain of this horrible Roman device called crucifixion, I believe this wasn't the worst of the pain that Jesus endured. Jesus knew what was in store for Him, and while this would be an awful event, He also knew it would be relatively short lived. But Jesus was incredibly torn in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His arrest. He sweated drops of blood and asked the Father if this cup could be removed. Was He just asking to not go through the agony of crucifixion or was there more?
I believe that what was even more horrific to Jesus than the physical pain and torture would be the time when the sins of the world, every one of your sins and my sins, would be heaped upon Him. The Father, whom He had been with for all of time, the One who loved Him with a deep and abiding love that is beyond our comprehension, would not be able to look on the Son. God would have to break the deep connection that they had since the beginning of time while Jesus hung on the cross.
Sin is so abhorrent to the Father that He, and all of Heaven, could not be there for Jesus during that incredible time. As Habakkuk 1:13a says, "You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness." What an incredible burden the Son willingly took on our behalf. It was so difficult that Jesus even cried out those memorable words from Matthew 27:46, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" I believe this was the most horrible time of His whole ordeal. He was totally alone and forsaken by all of Heaven, and all of the sins of mankind were heaped upon Him, from the smallest white lie to the most heinous murders.
What would cause the Father and the Son to both go through this agony? Only one thing - their deep and profound love for you and me. They loved each one of us so much that they were willing to endure all of this for you, for me, and for every other human who puts their faith in the Lord Jesus.
And glorious and wondrous news was to follow three days later - the day we celebrate as Easter. The Lord rose from the grave, conquering our final enemy: death itself! We who believe in Him shall always be alive because He is alive (John 14:19b, "Because I live, you shall live also")!
Jesus lives today sitting at the right hand of the Father. He still loves us with a love that is beyond words and beyond measure. What amazing love is this! What a reason we have to celebrate this Easter! What an incredible Savior we have!
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Praise God!