Jesus’ suffering was:
Immeasurable – Even one sin against our infinitely holy God merits eternal punishment in hell. Adam’s single sin ushered into the world unfathomable evil. Yet Jesus took upon himself an immeasurable number of sins. Every sinful thought, word deed of every one of his people for all time. Every impure motive. Every failure to obey, rejoice, give to the poor, pray, trust, and love others. Every willful sin, high-handed sin, unconscious sin. Every sin of envy, discontentment, unbelief, lust, greed, slander, pride, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, fear of man, selfish ambition, complaining, murder, abortion, cursing, stealing, rape, and adultery. Christ suffered for oceans and oceans of sin.
Without any mercy. We experience many mercies in our suffering. We have God’s compassion and comfort. He gives us relief from our pain – we fall asleep at night; we have moments of distraction; moments of laughter and joy even in the midst of sadness. We have brothers and sisters to pray for us and encourage us. Jesus had none of this. No comfort from his Father’s nearness – his Father turned his face away. He had no moments where the pain subsided or the wrath was less intense. No friends encouraging him, only mockers scorning and insulting him. Jesus enjoyed not one drop of mercy in his affliction.
Completely voluntary – He delighted to do God’s will, as horrific as that was. He obeyed happily, cheerfully, gladly, looking to the joy before him. In love he humbled himself infinitely, God of glory taking on a body of flesh. In all he endured, he never murmured or grumbled. He embraced the cross with all his heart and soul to bring filthy sinners to God. He didn’t drag his feet. He didn’t need to be persuaded or pressured, but loved us freely and fully without reserve. He didn’t protect himself or cling to his “rights” as God, but laid them aside without blinking an eye because he loved us so much.
Infinitely powerful – His blood atoned for each and every one of the immeasurable number of sins he bore in himself. He paid the full price. He drank God’s cup of wrath to the very last drop. There’s not a single shred of guilt before God, not one ounce of judgment left for any of God’s people, Jesus’ death was so thorough, complete and powerful. Like a giant tidal wave that sweeps away everything before it, Jesus’ blood swept away forever every last one of our offences.
My heart is filled with a thousand songs
Proclaiming the glories of Calvary
With every breath, Lord how I long
To sing of Jesus who died for me
Lord, take me deeper
Into the glories of Calvary
–Steve and Vicki Cook
photo by freephotouk