He is walking slowly and breathing heavily. The moment has come, the time is near. His eyes are red as if He was crying. His heart is burdened as if He was dying. What is this that has come upon the son of the King? The weight of sin and sorrow of imminent death looms before His eyes. A separation from His Father means separation from love, grace, and everlasting mercies. Is this the way He should go? Is this the path He should walk? Is there no other way? Can this cup really be for His lips? The taste of sin is bitter. The taste of sin is death. The taste of sin is the grave.
In His face is evidence of the weight of a divinely appointed time. The moment has come and a sacrifice of love is required. It was ordained that He should be the Savior of the world. He is the Passover lamb. He is that snake on the cross. He is sinless, yet found guilty; blameless yet scourged. He stands before sin, death, the grave, and much torture, so that the beloved children may approach the loving Father once more. In the courts of a pagan government, He stands accused of a crime He did not commit. Rejected by His very own people, He was left to the mercy of Gentiles. All who saw Him, mock Him, shaking their heads saying: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord deliver him.” Where is God? Where is the Father at this crucial time? Where is the Spirit of Holiness that He so greatly relied on? It would seem that He is nowhere to be found. The miracle worker is left standing alone, betrayed, and abandoned.
The bitter taste of sin, like that of a fatal poison, left a horrid savor in His mouth only foreshadowing the eventual sting of death looming in the darkness. In a few moments, the poison will seep through his digestive tract and into his bloodstream. Its nature is to kill. It literally chokes his organs, robbing Him of life. Sin separates Him from the mercies of breath, strength, and even rest. Sin separates Him from love and Love himself, who is God.
Secreted through the pores of his skin, was the carrier of life, the blood. The One who had no sin became sin, and it was killing Him. Life was leaving him and death was taking its place. The inner workings of every sickness, every disease, was upon Him. He was bruised with the curse of every generation, the results of sinful man. He was oppressed by every sort of demon; they sought to mutilate him, the sought to mar the image of God in Him. In the streets they spat on Him, in secret, they crowned Him with thorns. In the square they whipped Him, leaving not one square inch of his body untouched. His bones were exposed and out of joint, His blood was poured out, and He was made to carry the symbol of a failed messiah. He made himself subject to everything which sought to dehumanize Him. He walked all the way to Calvary clutching tightly to the symbol of shame; and it was there at the top of the hill, the “Place of the Skull,” they pierced his hands and feet.
The strength He once had He subdued; the authority He possessed was momentarily relinquished. He was treated like an outcast, a slave of foreign descent. His heart grew faint and the light in His eyes was quickly getting dim. The dogs surrounded Him; the terror of hell threatened His spirit, melting His heart like wax within His chest. The bulls ravaged His body, till His appearance was no longer that of a man. A body made in perfect symmetry was distorted by blasphemers. His image no longer resembled that of His Father. He could no longer speak, His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. They took him clothe and gambled for them.
Crucify the King of the Jews? “But what has He done to deserve such a punishment,” Pilate asked? Jesus Christ had to pay the price of sin for humanity, yet He himself knew no sin. Jesus Christ bore the persecution of hell, for the deliverance of those who were dead to the Father.
Although He was innocent, He took the beating of a guilty man. And in all this, Jesus Christ the son of God never once complained, never asked why, and never looked back. And though He was tempted to turn away from this path of torture and death, He drank the bitter wine which was prepared for Him. He did it so that the will of His Father would be fulfilled. Jesus, in all that He did and in all that was done to Him, never dishonored His Father. In His affliction, He praised the Lord. In His time of need, He worshiped. Even in the bowels of hell, Jesus faithfully waited on the deliverance of His Father and He never doubted. Hope was never dull, for He longed for the presence of His Father. In eager anticipation, He waited for the glory which was to be revealed through Him.
Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” The resurrection of Jesus was the greatest miracle to ever grace this planet. But how did the Son of God rise when such unimaginable things were done to Him. Hearts of hatred poured out violence, hostility, and murder upon Him. Hearts of lust poured out debauchery, depravity, and all forms of corrupt sensuality. Selfish hearts abandoned Him. Prideful hearts rejected Him. Jesus knows what it is like to be hated, to be beaten, to be laughed at, and to be scorned. Jesus felt what it was like to be raped, to be treated like a piece of meat, to be betrayed, and to be doubted. He can identify with the victims of racism, sexism, violence, envy, and anger.
The darkness of the world tried to creep into His heart by the temptation to become equally self-reliant, vengeful, prideful, and hateful as they. The rulers sneered, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked Him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Even one of the criminals who hung next to Him insulted Him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Anger and pride could have motivated him to come down off that cross and with the help of 10’000 angels, He could have severely punished them all. But with one single swipe, He overcame it all. Jesus looked upon each one of them, seeing their ignorance and the lostness of humanity in sin and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The victimization he then knew and felt, He accepted. He accepted it without remorse. He will forever live with the memory of what happened during that terrible day, that glorious day. And though the pain lingers, the nail scars still in his hands, he forgave and still forgives.
And so that you know the Son of Man has the power to forgive, rise, take up your bed and enter my kingdom. Jesus spoke with that authority as the Son of God forgiving sins and making the lame walk again. There is forgiveness for all who look upon that bloody gory cross to find that Jesus paid it all.
On the first day of the week, the dawn of a new era, Mary and Martha stumbled upon the empty tomb, the tomb of Jesus, with two angels standing guard. Indeed the death of Jesus was not the end but the beginning of a new age. His death was not one of a failed messiah but one of a King who gave Himself in love to redeem man in glory. Mary and Martha were the first to bear witness to the resurrected Jesus Christ, walking in the glory of God. The resurrection power of God raised Jesus from the dead. Not only that, the resurrection power of God defeated the sin which separated the Son from his Father. God’s resurrection power completely dissolved the chains of every curse, every sickness, every disease, and defeated the oppression of the enemy. No devil in hell could keep him bound. Jesus bore the ultimate weight of sin for all humanity, for all time, and the resurrection power of God raised him in glory. Jesus bore the weight of glory.
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