Many of us know what it is to live with pain. It is difficult for me to remember living a day where I was pain free. For the past 25 or 30 years, I have lived with pain. The pain is the direct result of a head on auto accident I had many years ago. And even after having back surgery, the pain in my back and in my sciatica is still there.
I know many of you live with pain also. Whether it is a physical, or mental, or emotional, or relational or spiritual pain, each one of us carries pain to some degree.
Our Scripture verse, found in Isaiah 52:14 (New King James Version) says this, “His visage was marred more than any man.” That means that if you were to look upon the face of Christ, you would not have been able to tell it was a man. Jesus was beaten so severely, that His face was bruised, scraped, swollen and cut so badly, it was difficult to tell it was the face of a human being.
His body knew what it was like to go through a beating and be wracked with pain. And then they stretched out His arm and drove a nail through His wrist and then they stretched out His other arm and drove a nail through the other wrist. They also took His feet and placed one over the other and drove a nail through both of them. I cannot even imagine the pain that Jesus went through on that Friday over 2,000 years ago.
But Jesus didn’t suffer just physical pain. He also suffered emotional pain because He became sin to pay for our sins and when He did, all of Heaven looked away. He also suffered God’s judgment for all of the sin over all of the ages. Past sin. Present sin. And future sin. Jesus died for your sin because He was the only One who could.
As the Divine Son of God, Jesus was perfect and without sin. But the Bible says that all (read: ALL) of our sins were placed upon Him and by His death, He took the judgment and the hell that we all deserve.
Why did Jesus suffer? Because He was the only One who could. And because of His great love for you and for me. Jesus suffered that we might find peace in our storms of life. Jesus suffered that we might know that He knows our pain. Jesus suffered that we might be offered the free gift of eternal life so we won’t have to spend our eternity in a devil’s hell.
Why did Jesus suffer? Because God loves us. Because God loves you. Because God loves me. There was no other way for the debt of sin to be fully paid, than for Jesus to die so that we could be redeemed (bought back).
What does the Cross of Jesus Christ mean to you? It should mean that God loves us and the measure of God’s love is His Son on the cross in our place. God allowed His Son to die in our place so that we could have eternal life by receiving God’s free gift. But it is a gift that must be received individually. How will you respond to God’s pure love, poured out on the Cross for you and for me?
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at [email protected], www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.