The greatest story ever told is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No story has captured more attention, both good and bad, than His story. Christians read His story and rejoice because they have a Savior. The Atheist reads it and hears a story about a good man and his religious zealots. There is one thing that both sides can agree on: this story is not one to be taken lightly.
By far, the most compelling part of Jesus’s story is His death on the cross. The agony that our Lord went through for us is difficult to imagine. “Why would He go through so much for me?” “Why go to the most horrific form of execution imaginable?” “Why not come in 2019 when we have lethal injection?” “Why go through all that torture?” The answer is one that is so simple, yet it is so complex: love. My Lord and Savior endured great torture because he looked out across space and time and saw us. He saw our broken, sinful souls, and He loved us so much that He came to this earth. He put on the form of the creatures that he created. He lowered Himself so that we could be lifted up.
This article is for all those who wear the name of Christian, and those who haven’t named the name of Christ. This article is for you to see the love and the suffering that our Lord went through for us. These six hours have not only changed history, but they have changed man’s eternal destiny.
The pain of Jesus’s execution began in the Garden of Gethsemane. He went a little farther than His disciples so He could pray. The Bible records how Jesus lay flat on the ground wailing and crying out to God. He begged the Father to allow this cup of suffering to pass from Him, but He acknowledged that the Father’s will was going to be done (Matt. 26:39). He then had to endure the pain of rejection as Judas betrayed Him with a sign of friendship (Matt. 26:48-49). He then was led to the Chief Priests who gave Him a mockery of a trial and beat Him and spit on Him (Matt. 26:57-68). While He was going through this humiliation, he again had to experience rejection as Peter, one of His closest friends, cursed and swore that he didn’t even know who Jesus was (Matt. 26:69-75). After this, our humiliated Savior was taken to Pilate to be put to death. If all of this wasn’t enough for the Son of God, the people chose a known murderer rather than Him (Matt. 27:21). He went through all this pain, and He isn’t even to the cross.
A Roman scourging many times killed the one who suffered this fate. The whip had bits of bone and glass that bruised and shredded the flesh of the victim’s back. Charles B. Hodges said in his book The Agony and Glory of the Cross: “Scourging was brutal. It produced great welts, deep stripes, and a swollen body. Often eyes and teeth were knocked out.” This wasn’t even His form of execution.
Finally, Jesus was led to Golgotha. His cross was lifted, more than likely, after He was nailed to it, and He hung there for six hours. Six hours of struggling to breathe, six hours of listening to the mob insult Him and laugh at Him, and six hours of bearing your sin and mine. This is what our Savior did for us. This is the love that He had for broken, sinful man. This is the sacrifice that changed history. He bore our sin to the cross so that we wouldn’t have to spend our eternity separated from God. Man could now come boldly before God (Heb. 4:16). His love has liberated us from the pain and emptiness of sin, and we can now live a new life in Christ.
Let it never be said of us that we forget this sacrifice. We as Christians worship God three hours a week, and we think that is enough. Our Lord spent six hours on the cross bearing our sins, and we think that we can give him three hours. We need to see Christianity for what it is: a lifestyle. God loved us so much that He gave His Son for our sinful souls. Let us never lose sight of the cross.