Chronicled in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; referenced throughout the
Old and New Testaments
King of Kings. Lord of Lords. Alpha. Omega. First. Last. Omniscient. Omnipotent. Provider. Healer. Wonderful Counselor. The Way, The Truth, and The Life. These are a few of the monikers that accurately describe Jesus. He has been clothed in majesty since before time began. That should have never changed. For thirty-three years, it did. He became a man so He could die.
I’ll set the stage: He’s in the Garden of Gethsemane after dark. It’s the night before Jesus goes to the cross. He’s praying for strength and grace. The man has such stress and pressure heaped on Him, His sweat turns to blood. In His humanity, He does not want to go to Calvary. In His divinity, He knows it’s the only way to save mankind. The traitor Judas has led the soldiers right to Him. They seize Him and drag Him away. So, it begins. Over the next day, Jesus suffered such horrendous abuse, it’s scarcely imaginable. He was punched, kicked, spat on, cursed, and His beard was plucked out. He was mocked without mercy. Then a crudely fashioned crown of two-inch-long thorns was driven deeply into His skull, piercing skin and bone.
This was all before the REAL punishment commenced. He was tied to a whipping post and beaten with a rod. When that didn’t inflict the desired damage, the centurion exchanged his rod for a cat-of-nine-tails, a torturous weapon unlike any other. It was a nine-piece leather whip with glass shards, jagged stone, nails, and broken bone fragments woven into the ends of the “tails.” With a fearsome flick of the wrist, it lashed into Jesus’ flesh. The demonic device was then ripped violently out of His back, side, shoulder, and wherever else it had become lodged, bringing with it skin, muscle, and sinew. Jesus’ insides were literally left hanging and exposed. At this point, He barely looked human. Oh, the pain! Blood oozed from every inch of Him.
A woolen robe was thrown over His back, left on long enough for the blood to dry; then, just for kicks, they snatched it off, opening fresh wounds. Finally, a heavy wooden crossbeam was thrown over His shoulders and He was forced to drag it up a long hill. When He reached the top of the hill, He was tossed down onto the cross, where eight-inch spikes were driven cruelly into His wrists and feet. The cross was lifted up and dumped into a deep hole, throwing Him downward. Jesus’ shoulders and elbows were separated from their sockets. He heaved for breath as His lungs began to collapse. He hung on that cross for hours before finally giving up His life…for you and me. By choice. He bore our sin, our shame, and our punishment so we wouldn’t have to. And He won. Death lost. Hell lost. The grave lost. We are redeemed!
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? We have the love of Christ in our hearts, His blood coursing through our veins, His authority is on our lips, and His power is in our hands. NOTHING is impossible!