How do you feel when someone surprises you with an unexpected gift or generous act, purely out of kindness? Maybe someone you do not know! It certainly gives you a sense of worth and could even leave you speechless with gratitude depending on the cost to the giver. What if you discovered someone died for you? Surely, this would leave you in shock! Questions should come into your head – who was this person? why did they do it? surely this must be a joke?
We have news for you – someone did die for you! Someone who loves you so much and knows every detail about you, even the number of hairs on your head!
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)
That person is Jesus Christ.
We cannot begin to understand the pain and humiliation Jesus went through on our behalf before His death:
- He was mocked and spat at by the Roman soldiers.
- He was beaten. At least two strong legionnaires beat Him in the face and head leaving His eyes swollen, nose pouring with blood, teeth loosened or knocked out, His lips would have been shredded.
- He was scourged. This is not just what we imagine is whipping. This is one of the most cruel punishments the Romans could inflict on a human body. A scourge was used to lash the skin with parts of bone attached to the end go under the skin and pull the flesh apart when the soldiers pulled it back. Jesus suffered this on His arms, shoulders, back, chest, legs and calves, by two Roman soldiers alternating from each side.
- He had a crown of thorns put on His head. These thorns were one to two inches long and razor sharp. This crown was pushed down hard enough to penetrate the outer bone of the skull.
This is all before the crucifixion!
- Jesus had the cross bar tied on His shoulders and was made to walk through the crowded streets. This cross bar, weighing around 125 pounds, was an unplanned piece of wood with splinters and spikes that would dig into anyone carrying it. With all the pain from the beatings He had to then endure this humiliation.
- Once He made it to the place of the crucifixion nails were driven into each wrist, then through both feet to the foot piece.
- Jesus was lifted up upon the cross in front of the whole city.
- Each time He breathed in His lacerated back would scrape across the splinters in the cross.
- Each time He breathed out He had to push from His legs and pull up from His arms.
- Every word Jesus spoke on the cross was very precious!
- Jesus’ penultimate sentence was “It is finished”. Jesus knew He had paid the price for our sins!
Even though He was completely innocent of any wrongdoing, Jesus was falsely convicted and then brutally tortured.
But Jesus did it with Joy!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 emphasis added)
Joy! Can you imagine? He was thinking of us the whole time!
Jesus went through all this because we fall short of God’s standards and our relationship with Him is severed because of our sin. He paid our price upon the cross so we can live and spend eternity in Heaven.
But He rose again! He proved who He was by defeating death and appearing to many witnesses – Would you die for a lie?
The only thing we need to do is believe in our hearts that Jesus did this for us!
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Jesus died for you! Spend time finding out more about Him! Are you going to accept His payment for your sins?
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25)