So many people have posted neat little quotes, verses, and praises over the past two days. I have really enjoyed reading them, and it has helped me think through some things.
I think many times I as a Christian wonder why I don’t grieve more over what Christ did for me on the cross. Many times I see people cry or get emotional when talking about the crucifixion of our savior, and while I do feel a somber respect, I never grieved.
Someone posted a link to an article that, when I initially read, I totally disagreed with. It focused on each and every physical, painful aspect assumed to have happened during Christ’s death on the cross, and not on the spiritual and mental agony, which I believe is the main happening in those long moments.
I got to thinking about it more, and I realized that yes, what my Lord went through physically was terrible, VERY terrible. But then I thought about the REAL reason of Jesus’ death.
There’s a song that has a phrase, “It was not of pain, but a broken heart (Jesus) died.”
Jesus died a lot sooner than “normal” and way before the two thieves that hung next to Him. Why? I thought about the things I associated Christ’s death with. He took EACH and EVERY sin on Himself. In those moments, He felt the weight, the grief, and the guilt of each and every one of those sins. I know that there were times that I sinned, and the guilt made me miserable enough to cause me to feel physically ill. Jesus felt that. Every time that I could not go to bed because of something I had said or done, He felt that. He felt ALL of the weight from EVERY sin I committed or will commit in ONE space of time. When I think of all that I’ve done, and how terrible I’ve felt for different ones of them, I could not even begin to imagine trying to hold the guilt for ALL of them in one day. That would be unbearable! HE did! But not only for my sins, but for the sins of the ENTIRE WORLD.
“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” – Proverbs 18:14
There have been so many people through history that have endured unthinkable torture and physical agony, yet have been able to hold on because of what Christ had done for them. Their spirit, their faith and hope and love for Christ sustained their infirmity. Jesus had physical suffering, yes, such that many people died from before and after Him. But I had to stop and think of the torture of His Spirit. Who indeed could have borne that?
And that wasn’t the worst part, the worst part was that God, in His complete and perfect righteousness, had to turn His back on His Son Who had all the sins and wretchedness of the entire world on His shoulders. I tried to imagine for a minute what it would be like to know God had turned His back on me for just ten minutes. He could not look on me or hear me. I can’t even begin to imagine it! Yet Christ on the cross had to endure that. Even though He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He knew full why, and submitted willingly.
The more I think about those two aspects, the weight of the sins of the world, and His agony at having His own Father turn His back on Him, the more I agree with the phrase of that song.
As I was riding home from the store, I was praying aloud, as I often do when I’m alone in the car. I was just starting to get a glimpse of the true suffering of Christ (though I will never fully comprehend it!) and I asked the question “why?” I know it was because of love, but it was so hard to understand! And then if saving my soul wasn’t enough, He was now always “on call” for me. Ready and willing to listen to each and every trouble and request I have, and continuing to do things for me in ways I could never imagine.
I knew I could never understand that love, but I wanted to be able to kind of have an idea of why. Suddenly the thought of a grandparent popped in my mind. Grandparents always love their grandchildren. No matter what those children do that’s wrong, they still love them. And they don’t just love them, they also love to do things for them. A grandparent loves it when their grandchild needs something, and they can provide it for them, or if their grandchild asks them for something, and they can provide it. They never cease to love their grandchildren, and will love them, comfort them, and do what they can for them… even if they never get anything back.
Now this doesn’t even begin to describe God’s love for me, but seeing that, and place a grandparent’s love in perspective with God’s love (which is impossible to do, by the way!), I begin to feel overwhelmed. I started to tear up as the magnitude of what Jesus Christ did for me began to come together in my mind. Christ went through SO MUCH! And it was all because of love for ME! I am so unworthy! Praise and bless His Holy Name!
I just prayed earlier this week that God would show me more of His love, and place in me a desire to worship, honor, and serve Him because I WANT to, not just because I was supposed to, and He has begun!