A friend of mine recently posted about how Christ was scourged before being crucified. This got me to thinking today about that, and all of what happened at Calvary.
Jesus before all this was taunted and ridiculed mercilessly. A crown of thorns was placed on His head; that would have been painful. He was scourged…an extremely painful thing to endure. Suffice it to say, when someone was scourged, they were essentially whipped. Only the whip was many in one. Imagine many pieces of leather tied to the end of a pole; now imagine articles being tied into these pieces of leather that would rip open the flesh…deeply. These tools of torture were capable of ripping apart the skin, and tearing into the muscles as well. This would then be extremely painful. Then there was the cross; the sheer physical agony was horrendous. The weight of all the people’s sins had to be even worse. For more information on Scourging, see this post on Christian Blessings,
What I really want to focus on is why Jesus did this. I think about this frequently, during communion I often think on this and it brings tears to my eyes.
Why would Jesus do this, why would He suffer so much for me? What would be the first reason Jesus would endure the cross?
Some, or dare I say many are going to say because He and the Father loved us that much.
That is a good reason, but it is not the first reason. There is another reason Jesus did this, and it is even more important then His love for us.
God must remain true to Himself or He would cease to be God! Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Now if Jesus is and always has been the same, then so has the Father. John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
God is love (1 John 4:8). God also tells us to love our enemies, (Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,) if God says that we are to do things, He is not going to tell us to do them and not do them Himself.
God must remain true to Himself first, before anything else. Do you see? God said, “love your enemies”…before we were granted forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ, we were God’s enemies! What did God do about this situation? He loved us…and died for us.
God made the law, knowing full well we could not keep it perfectly. God made the penalty for breaking the law death. So since we all sin, our penalty is physical death, followed by spiritual death. In order that we would not have to suffer the second death, a sacrifice needed to be made that was acceptable to God. This sacrifice needed to be perfect, and not an animal…a perfect man. So God sent Himself down to earth…as a man…and made good on the penalty of sin, for all of us. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, and then willingly suffered terrible pain and agony beyond imagining, and then death. God, knew that He would have to pay the cost of His own rule…that His created creatures (us) could not pay the penalty, only a perfect, flawless man could do that…enter in Jesus.
Yes God also did this out of His great love for us, but God must be true to Himself first.
God said, “love your enemies”, so God did likewise…He died to save us (God’s enemies before conversion) from ourselves! Jesus said that if we love Him, we would obey Him (John 14:15). So also did Jesus obey the Father at all times, even at the end facing cruel torture and crucifixion. Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
So Jesus obeyed His Father and suffered the cross, and willingly died for us. Knowing that Jesus died for us is important, but what is even more important is, knowing that He did it willingly. There is not, never was, nor will there ever be any force powerful enough to kill Jesus Christ. Nothing, and no one could do this…ever; Satan could not so much as put a scratch on Christ. This all-powerful being, incapable of being defeated and killed…lay down His life willingly to pay for our sins.
Think about these things as we approach Easter. We have been given a gift, more so then we normally even think about.
I praise your Name Jesus, thank you for giving your life, that mine could be restored. Thank you Lord for loving me so much. Thank you Father that through this miracle of love in action, I am given the gift of eternal life, and am forgiven my sins. Amen.