The very foundation of Christianity lies in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the very proof that Christianity is unlike any religion, that its founder is the only founder of a religion that was resurrected from the grave.
In short, it was only Jesus who backed up His claim of divinity with verifiable and truthful proof.
However, before Jesus has to become our Savior, He has to go through indescribable pain and suffering. From the time He was destined to die for our sins to the very moment He took His human breath, His life was filled with sorrow caused by sin.
In this blog, I want to ask you an important and serious question:
How much do you and I appreciate the sacrifice and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ?
Christ’s suffering started since the foundation of the world
Jesus Christ is a God who was made flesh. He came to this world of sinners as a perfect man who would be slain from the foundation of the world.
Before the world begun, God’s plan of redemption has already been laid. Jesus has already known that one day He would die for our sins. His suffering started long before He became a human being.
Before Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus knew that He will one day suffer the most INDESCRIBABLE and incredible pain ever known within the human realm. He will be stripped of His divine power and live as a lowly person.
Do you know how hard that could have been? Imagining the emotional and physical pain He would go through just to save us?
Jesus’ grew up within a judgmental society
When Jesus was finally born into this world, He was not even born in a decent house, but in a humble manger.
He became a man of sorrow.
Before Mary was married to Joseph, she was found with a child. Thus, people thought of Jesus as an illegitimate child. In one discussion, the Pharisees claimed that they know Abraham as their father, but of Jesus, they don’t know. It might have been difficult for Christ to live as a child to endure the ridicule and social stigma put upon Him as a bastard Child.
Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights
Before Jesus started His ministry, He has to fast 40 days and 40 nights. Because of the great wonders that Jesus Christ has done, we often forget that He is still a human being who can feel pain, hunger, and thirst.
Can you imagine how weak, dehydrated, and hungry Jesus Christ would have been? I would say that He was on the brink of death when He finally reached the 40th day of His fast.
To make things worse, within those 40 days and 40 nights, He was also tempted by Satan day and night! Some of us might have thought that the temptation happened at the end of 40 days, but it is not. Mark tells us that He was tempted 40 days and 40 nights.
Mark tells us that He was tempted during the whole duration of His fast.
When Jesus started His ministry, Jesus was entering an unfriendly territory. He would have to face the established religious system of His day. He will have to face opposition, mockery, ridicule, and shame.
Jesus was abandoned by His family and friends
During His ministry, His family especially His brothers, did not believe Him! His brother would have told Him, “Who are you to teach us what is right or wrong? We were just playmates when we were still kids. You are not in the position to preach to us.”
His disciples. who have been with Jesus Christ for approximately 3 ½ years, were able to leave Him! For the disciples, it was unimaginable for them to see Jesus being tortured and eventually killed.
They might have reasoned in themselves: “Is it really true that Jesus will die? The same man who walked on water; the same man who was able to calm the roaring sea; the same man who healed the sick; the same man who cast away demons; the same man who miraculously fed more than 10,000 people; the same Jesus who has raised the dead to life? Will He die a death of a criminal?”
“Is it really true that Jesus will die? The same man who walked on water; the same man who was able to calm the roaring sea; the same man who healed the sick; the same man who cast away demons; the same man who miraculously fed more than 10,000 people; the same Jesus who has raised the dead to life? Will He die a death of a criminal?”
The Disciples could not believe it that even Peter rebuked Jesus Christ when Jesus was predicting His death!
The death of Jesus Christ
Then the day finally came when Jesus will have to offer His body and shed His life for us sinners. Jesus died the most painful death that no words can even describe.
Thus, people have to invent a word just to describe the pain Christ has suffered. The word is “excruciating,” which literally means out from the cross!
Jesus has to die the death of a criminal. Imagine having to go through all those pain!
Crucifixion is the harshest method of torture in the Roman world. Jesus Christ knew how terrible His suffering will in the hands of the Roman soldier to the point that His blood turned to sweat.
According to modern medicine, this phenomenon is called hematohidrosis where tiny capillaries burst and blood starts to trickle and mix with sweat.
After the arrest of Jesus Christ, He was presented to the high priest where He was bullied, struck, and mauled.
After that, all His clothing was removed to prepare the body for scourging. Jesus was then flogged with flagrum which is a device of evil designed to inflict MAXIMUM pain on its victim.
As the flogging continues, the whip will first cut through the skin, then the subcutaneous tissues, then the muscles. Blood will ooze from the torn veins and arteries delivering intense pain.
Eventually, the back of Jesus Christ will be unrecognizable that it will look like a shred of torn bleeding flesh. When Jesus seems to be near death, then the scourging stopped.
Scourging is so harsh that most people who are condemned for the crucifixion will die well before he is nailed to the post.
After the scourging, Jesus was mocked by the soldiers by clothing Him with a robe then putting a crown of thorn on His head. Again, this will result in profuse bleeding. As if that is not enough, the robe was again stripped off from Him leaving His wounds to open again and bleed.
The way to Golgotha is a long and enduring walk. Jesus was at His limit that He did not have the strength to carry the cross. He stumbled and fell.
The torture He went through is too much for His human body. When Jesus arrived in the place of crucifixion, He was then thrown against the beam where He will be crucified. The Roman soldier will then palpate the wrist of Christ and determine where to place the six-inch nail.
As the nail was pushed through the wrist to the wood, the nerves of Christ was crushed sending an incredible pain signal to His brain. This is then repeated to the other wrist, then to the two feet. Each of these nails will surely make any heart to faint because of the pain it causes.
Dr. Metherell, an expert on how crucifixion is carried out, described Jesus’ suffering on the cross with these words:
“Once a person is hanging in the vertical position…crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position; basically, in order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. In doing so, the nail would tear through the foot, eventually locking up against the tarsal bones.
“After managing to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in. Again he’d have to push himself up to exhale, scraping his bloodied back against the coarse wood of the cross. This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over, and the person wouldn’t be able to push up and breathe anymore” (Strobel, pp. 265-266).
Isaiah 52:13 through 53:1-12
Let us read Isaiah 52 starting in verse 13 until chapter 53:1-12 to get an idea of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
13Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is DESPISED AND REJECTED of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was WOUNDED for our transgressions, he was BRUISED for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Why Jesus have to Die?
The Law cannot save us. It can only tell us what is wrong and right, what sin is and what it is not. The law has pronounced a DEATH PENALTY to all of us. All of us in this world have sinned. Not a single person is perfect and even if you will keep the commandments perfectly from this day on, you will never erase the sin you have committed in the past.
Imagine yourself, owing to a man a debt that you cannot possibly pay and you are given a death sentence. No matter how sorry you are, how hard you pleaded to the court, and have done everything just for the court to withdraw the death sentence, you are still going to be executed. But here comes the man you have wronged, looked at you with a merciful and compassionate glance, and he said, “I will die for you!”
Through the grace, mercy, and love of God the Father, He offered His Son to die for our sin. Can you really do that? If you have a son or daughter, will you let your child die for a criminal? It would surely be difficult for us, right? Yet, that is what God and Jesus did for us, just to make salvation available for all mankind.
Jesus has to die to blot out our sin. We are the reason that Jesus has to die. Do you know who really killed Jesus? We shouldn’t blame the Jews or Roman soldiers. You don’t have to look far and wide to find the real killer of Jesus. It is you and I.
The one who killed Christ is us. It is because of our sins that Christ has to die.
Let us read Romans 5:6-11.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Even after Jesus was resurrected, his suffering does not end there. I am sure that you don’t want to crucify Christ anymore, right? But we crucify Christ every time we sin. The result and consequences of our sin bring sorrow and sadness to Him and God the Father.
Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us:
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are CRUCIFYING once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
Every time we sin, we are crucifying Christ over and over and over again.
After telling you the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ, can we now see the significance of what it really means for our Savior to die for us? Can we now see how God and Jesus love us to the point that They are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?
OR are we so used to sin that we can’t even trust our conscience anymore? Are we too comfortable with our sin that we don’t seek repentance and change our lives? Will we come before the holy presence of God as a better person compared to the person we are last year?
Let us not become too comfortable with sin, that we don’t see the need to change. I know there is a lot of work to do. There is a lot of growing up to happen. I don’t see myself as better than any of you. I am as sinful as you are. However, that does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to overcome our sinful nature.
Let us HATE sin so much that we don’t want anything to do with it. Let us do our best to fight the good fight.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle, choose your side. In our battle against Satan, are we winning or are we losing?
We need to wake up each day and pray to God. Pray to Him to help you, help me, help us, help everyone to become more like Him and less like us. Let us present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
God expects us to grow.
Let us not waste the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our savior. Let us appreciate His life, suffering, and death. And that appreciation MUST lead us to repentance and to commit our lives to Him.
(P.S. If you want to learn more about the life of our Savior, please request your free copy of Jesus Christ: The Real Story.)
Recommended Amazon Book
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A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story in history–is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of god?
Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?
Strobel’s tough, point-blank questions make this Gold Medallion-winning book read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it’s not fiction. It’s a riveting quest for the truth about history’s most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ? (Grab your copy here.)