This is going to start off heavy but end up light. I promise you….
It’s easy to jump straight to the cross when we think of what Jesus did for us. But there is so much more to look at that brings the depth of what He did into even greater focus.
His agony began far before He experienced the spikes through His hands and feet:
- Sweat like blood “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” (Luke 22:44).
- He was struck “And when He had said this, one of the officers standing by gave Jesus a blow, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” (John 18:22-23).
- He was beaten with fists “And some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.” (Mark 14:65).
- He was scourged “Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified.” (Matt. 27:26). Scourged has two definitions – being whipped violently and being tortured and tormented. Jesus experienced both.
- Crown of thorns on His head, mockery and being beaten “And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews! 30″And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31And after they had mocked Him, they took His robe off and put His garments on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.” (Matt. 27:29-31).
All of these things happened to Jesus before the huge cross which represented His death was placed on His shoulders to carry to Golgotha (which means “the skull).
Agony, pain, humiliation, brutality, false accusations, mockery. Jesus experienced shame even before He carried the cross. He began bearing the sins of the world long before He got to that hill.
Imagine the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion that He was experiencing before being weighed down by the cross.
It was more than He could bear. Literally.
Simon of Cyrene, a random passerby, was asked to help carry Jesus’ cross.
All of this is before being crucified. Before Jesus experienced the silence of God, the excruciating pain of being hung on a cross.
Do you see what I’m getting at?
When we feel alone, rejected, when we experience shame or crushing heartache, HE GETS IT. HE GOT IT. He felt it, experienced it fully.
When we ache to our bones with grief, when we are ravaged by disease or the weight of the world on our shoulders, HE GETS IT. HE GOT IT. He felt it, experienced it fully.
When the pain seems unbearable, when we feel far off from God and the darkness is closing in, HE GETS IT. HE GOT IT. He felt it, experienced it fully.
In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve the consequences of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He told them that taking a bite of that fruit would bring death to them, and to the world.
As we know, they took that bite any way. The world was poisoned. Death and all its associated grievances would follow.
In all of Jesus’ suffering even before getting to “The Skull”, He was taking back the “apple”. He took that bite and swallowed its poison for us. That bitter bite that would burn all the way down and lead to His death. He became the antidote for our sin, for our choice that day in the Garden. HE GETS IT. HE GOT IT. He felt it and experienced it fully.
The good news is that the story didn’t end there!
He rose from death, from that shame and humiliation and pain. He came out from the grave of our sin and the blackness of that cold, dark place.
And what was the result?
LIFE! REAL, FOREVER, ABUNDANT LIFE!!!!
When we realize what He did for us, when we ACCEPT the inconceivable gift that He gave us that day, WE WALK OUT OF THAT GRAVE WITH HIM!!!!
He threw down that “apple” forever, crushing it with His risen feet, reducing it to the pulp and juice that dried up completely in the LIGHT of His resurrection.
Oh, we may still feel it’s lingering effects. It’s still left its ugly stain on the world. Sometimes we will still carry in our mouths the bitter aftertaste or even crave tasting it again.
But we don’t have to die from its poison.
We can claim forgiveness and life because of what Jesus did!
Know today that no matter what you are experiencing, Jesus GETS IT. HE GOT IT. He feels and experiences it fully with you. But it does not have the last word. HE does.
And His word is LIFE….