Every year I hear about people who have their hands and feet nailed to a cross for a brief time to imitate the crucifixion of Christ. These misguided souls may mean well, but their futile self-torture is only a tiny fraction of the Lord’s physical pain—and nothing of His deep spiritual agony.
After a night of humiliating abuse and vicious scourging, which was enough to kill some people, Jesus was wracked with horrendous pain during His 6 hours on the cross. But far worse was the agony in His soul. During the 3 hours of darkness, He endured the God-forsakenness of hell.
The prophet Isaiah declared the suffering Servant to be absolutely without fault, but said, “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” and to “make His soul an offering for sin” (Isa. 53:10). The apostle Paul said that God made the sinless One “to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21). Not until Jesus knew He had endured the full measure of God’s judgment against our sins did He say, “It is finished!” (Mt. 27:50; Jn. 19:30).
We can only faintly comprehend the mystery of what our Savior endured. But we trust Him and rejoice in the assurance that He paid the full penalty for all our sins. Christ’s deepest pain opened the door to our greatest joy.
The Lord was crucified for us;
He gave His life so we would gain
Eternal life and endless joy
In heaven where there is no pain. —Sper
Christ endured the agony of the cross so we could enjoy the glory of heaven.