All week long, Jesus has been teaching His disciples priceless lessons about love, faith, hope and service. The time had come for Jesus to finish those lessons and complete the great Work of Sacrifice.
No Hollywood movie could ever portray the horror of what Jesus faced on the day He was betrayed, arrested, tried, tortured and crucified. What Jesus went through for us is beyond anything the human mind can imagine or any computer animation can devise.
“Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.” Isaiah 52:13-15
I will admit to weeping at the image of my Lord and Savior taking the punishment for my sins in His Body – twisted, torn, ripped, shredded, emaciated, wounded, scarred, bloodied for me. Years ago I wondered why I felt so deeply in my heart the wounds that were inflicted on Jesus. I would hear Amazing Grace and immediately feel a lump in my throat and tears fill my eyes. Then one day I realized that those tears were coming from God’s Spirit inside me. God the Father and God the Spirit felt more deeply than I ever could as a human for what God the Son did when He died for our sins. I remember how Jesus wept for Jerusalem just days earlier as He approached the city on what we now call Palm Sunday. I feel that when I remember what Jesus did for me on that Day of Days.
- Judas kissed Jesus and betrayed Him
- The soldiers laid their hands on Jesus and took Him by force
- They spit on Him, blindfold Him, and beat Him
- The officers struck Jesus with the palms of their hands
- Many people bore false witness against Jesus
- The chief priests and scribes vehemently accused Him
- Herod, with his men of war, treated Jesus with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate
- Professional soldiers with great skill in the torture of scourging tore up the body of Jesus – barely leaving Him alive to then be crucified
- The soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. They clothed Jesus with purple, they twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, they saluted Him and mocked Him – ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ – They struck Jesus on the head with a reed and spat on Him. They continued to mock Jesus by bowing before Him and worshiping Him. When they had finished mocking Jesus, they took the purple robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to be crucified
- They forced Jesus to carry His own Cross as far as He could go
- They nailed Jesus to the Cross, lifted Him up and the Cross slammed into the hole dug for it in the ground
- When they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take
- They put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS
- The chief priests, scribes and elders mocked Jesus while He hung naked on the Cross
- Those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!’
- Even those who were crucified with Jesus reviled Him
- “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
- Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit
The beatings Jesus received for us are beyond comprehension. The Roman Army had soldiers who were specially trained in beating people almost to death (http://the-crucifixion.org/scourging.htm). Those beatings – those horrible beatings – were for His disciples and all who would believe on His Name. His beatings were our beatings – His death was our death.
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25
How did Jesus respond to the horror around Him? He forgave them – “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus was always the perfect example of love for His disciples. He certainly was on that Day of Days when He voluntarily gave His Life for us.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
On this day, we are reminded of the Supreme Sacrifice of Christ for us. It is a small thing for us to bow before Him and thank Him for His unspeakable Gift of Love, Salvation, and continual Grace.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
It is finished! Praise God – it is finished.
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”