Jesus identifies with our human weakness. He understands, fully, our temptations because he lived battling against them. In Jesus’ humanity, he also endured physical pain and emotional/spiritual turmoil, just as I do. When I mentally apply that part of his human nature to the days leading up to his death I feel a heavy weight land squarely on my heart. Think about it. Think about everything Jesus endured.
He was mocked mercilessly about his identity, spit on as a liar and a maniac, convicted and killed like a criminal. Those whom he taught and healed testified falsely against him. Every soul who claimed love and loyalty for him and his message abandoned him without thinking twice. He was beaten within an inch of his life and then forced to carry a heavy wooden beam miles to the site of his murder. There, at ‘The Place of the Skull’, his feet and his hands were nailed to the cross while he was fully conscious. Yet again, as he hung there slowly dying, a crowd of people who had days before been lauding his praise as “Lord” now shouted at him to “save himself” if he was so mighty.
Jesus bore the ridicule and rejection without retaliation, as only God could. Then, “he cried out with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” He died with the world’s back turned to him.
Before his betrayal Jesus took care to warn the disciples of his coming death. He taught and prophesied in depth as to what would happen to him. They still did not understand. He even told them that their pain and sorrow would be great at his death…
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.
The world did rejoice. And for three days Satan thought that he had victory over righteousness. But Jesus’ prophesy did not end there…
You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy…….So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. – John 16: 20, 22
Three days after his death Jesus fulfilled his promise. He rose miraculously from the dead. His work of salvation on behalf of a broken world was finished. I live in Christ’s resurrection—my joy cannot be stolen.
I know I’m jumping ahead here, but he’s alive NOW, and I am not waiting until Sunday to celebrate!
He is Risen!