To Die For Us
Have you ever had to suffer consequences for something you didn’t do? Maybe a sibling framed you and you received their punishment. Perhaps a coworker made a mistake that wasn’t noticed until your shift, so, you got the blame. How mad did it make you? Did you feel betrayed? Used? Did you react and try to defend yourself, pleading your case of innocence? Or, did you keep quiet, forgive immediately, asking others not to think less of the guilty party, and take on the pain of their punishment without feelings of anger and hate? Impossible, right?! We often just react hastily in the moment, not really able to control the tidal wave of emotion that consumes us.
This passage here in Matthew has an account found in all four of the Gospels. Each one reveals just a little more. In these passages, we read about the unimaginable betrayal, loneliness, agony, pain, loyalty, love, forgiveness and selflessness that this world has ever seen. There was so much the Son of God felt that it affected the solar system. That’s pretty BIG! At the sixth hour, which is noon, there was darkness everywhere as if an eclipse covered the bright noon sun. Not to be confused with a lunar eclipse because Passover occurred during a full moon. Jesus also sweated drops of blood while anticipating the cross and what it would bring.
Jesus asked His closest friends to be praying, and instead they fell asleep. Just as they were coming to, Judas, whom they thought was a friend, arrived on scene and betrayed Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. It was this kiss that alerted the mob to arrest Jesus. Then the physical agony and torture began. The beatings, the whippings that would take chunks of flesh off, the crown of thorns which were not only physically painful, but a complete mockery of His deity as well. Then forcing Him, physically weakened and mentally worn, to carry His own cross; one of the cruelest capital punishments ever invented. Once on the cross, He suffered the judgment for our sins.
Not just mine, or just yours, ALL of our sin. I realize this got a little graphic, but I did that for a reason. You see dear sister, our Lord has suffered in every single way that any human being in the history of the world AND still never sinned. When you feel alone, like no one understands, and you’re too ashamed to share with anyone, Jesus gets it! He understands whether you’re in an abusive marriage, verbal or physical. He gets it. Maybe your husband has had an affair, and you feel a betrayal that runs so deep you can’t imagine forgiveness, much less restoration. Maybe it’s a reputation that you just can’t seem to escape, no matter how much your salvation has changed you. He gets it.
Dear sister, Christ is enough. The price has been paid. Your debt of sin is wiped clean. Christ didn’t yield or dismiss His Spirit until all the prophecy and commands God the Father had given. Even up until His death, He was obedient, loving, forgiving, the perfect example of how we should be trying to live. I know, I know… impossible. We aren’t Jesus, we are sinners.
Yes, but we are sinners saved by mercy and grace. We should be trying every day to be more like Christ. Our lives should reflect our gratitude for everything Christ went through for us, because we are important to Him. We matter to God. So much so that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Take comfort my sister in knowing that Jesus truly is enough! He came to this earth to die for us!