Friday, April 22, 2011

Do we really know what Jesus endured on the Cross?

As we remember the day our Lord was crucified, I've been pondering everything He went through on our behalf.  Though the physical pain of being scourged and crucified is far worse than any of us can ever imagine, I'm not just speaking of that.  I'm talking about what took place in the Spiritual realm. 

The Burden of Sin
Have you ever wondered how if felt to have ALL the sins of EVERY human past, present, and future placed on your shoulders?    Think of how you feel when you do something wrong. If you're like me, you feel terrible. You feel guilty. You condemn yourself and sometimes even dislike yourself. And that's just one tiny sin.

Jesus bore all of our sins and all the guilt and the shame and the condemnation that went with them. The burden must have been mind-boggling. He's the only one in the universe who could have borne it and not died spiritually.

Abandoned by God
Secondly, because all the sins of the world were dumped on Jesus, the Father could not look at Him.  The sweet fellowship that had existed between Father and Son for eons was severed. Leaving Jesus completely alone in His greatest time of need. If you've ever been betrayed by a spouse or a close friend and abandoned,  you have only a hint of the emotional agony Jesus suffered. Remember He was fully man as well as being fully God. He felt completely rejected and abandoned by the One Person who had always been there for Him and with Him. And now, as He hung there in excruciating pain dealing with all the guilt and condemnation of every sin of mankind, He found Himself all alone.

The Wrath of God
Not only did God have to abandon Jesus, but because Sin has a price, God had to pour out His wrath on His only Son. I encourage you to read Psalm 88, which is a Messianic Psalm which speaks of Christ's suffering on the cross. Here's a few verses:
You have laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the depths.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me, And You have afflicted
me with all Your waves
Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off

After Jesus died, God  poured wave after wave of wrath upon Him. What this entailed, we may never know, but imagine for a moment the punishment that had to be inflicted for every sin ever committed. It had to be excruciating.I believe this along with God's abandonment is what upset so Jesus so much in the Garden of Gethsemane, not necessarily the physical pain.

Descent into Hell
There's much controversy over this but I believe Scripture confirms that Jesus descended into Hell after His death. While there, He suffered the wrath of God and then the Bible says He preached to the dead  who had disobeyed God and then freed the captives--the righteous dead--to go to heaven. He also took the keys to Hell, indicating his victory over Satan. (See Scriptures below)
Before Jesus' sacrifice, the righteous dead went to a place called Paradise which existed close to Hell. We know this from Jesus' story in Luke 16 of the rich man who called to Abraham across the void between the two places wanting a drink of water.  So, when Jesus told the thief on the cross that He'd see him in Paradise that same day, He was speaking of this underworld place.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,  by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, 1 Peter 3:18
For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 1 Peter 4:5

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore He says:
“ When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
 Now this,
“He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?  He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. Ephesians 4

Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18

So I urge you to take some time today to think on these things. Read Psalm 22, Psalm 88 and Isaiah 53. And get on your knees and thank Jesus for all He went through just for you.


  1. Friday, April 22nd,
    "Good Morning, MaryLu ... on this Good Friday morning".
    Thank-you for the post today. A close-up look at what Jesus did for EACH and everyone of us ! You are absolutely right ... what He did (willingly and selflessly) ... is indeed mind-boggling. I cannot for one minute imagine - what He went through, suffered, and bore ... all from the separation of Him and His Father ... just for "us" !!! If that is not true, real, genuine, sacraficial, everlasting love ... then I don't know what is.
    Soon off to Church for the Good Friday service ... where I know we will be hearing more about our Lord and Saviour ... and His ultimate sacrafice -- for our sins. What an Awesome and Wonderful and Perfect Lord and Saviour we serve !!! How can we do any less, but to serve Him and love Him right back !
    May God Bless each and everyone ... as we ponder more deeply ... the truth and relevance of what He did for us !!! (Absolutely unfathomable -- the weight of the sins upon Him !!!)
    Take care, and, God Bless.
    A "Happy and Blessed Easter" ... to each and everyone !
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Good morning to you, Cap'n! May the Lord bless you and your family on this Good Friday!
    What an emotional message.
    I was telling my husband that I hate that Earth Day landed on Good Friday. The world seems to be focusing on 'Mother Nature' and totally dismissing what our Saviour did for us. It saddens me, it really does.
    Thank you for reminding all of us of what this day truly is all about.
    This lowly shipmate will do her best to spread the word!
    God bless and have a blessed Resurrection Day!

  3. Thanks, MaryLu, for this post! It is uplifting and so well explained...I really appreciate it!
    Have a blessed weekend....same to Brenda and Debbie.

  4. Thanks, ladies! I actually cried while I wrote this as I pondered all that Jesus went through. I really felt His Spirit upon me. It was an amazing thing. Anyway, yes I hate Earth Day. In fact I just returned from the Grocery store where they weren't using paper bags in honor of Earth Day. Good Grief? What about Jesus? He's the Creator of Earth and they completely ignore Him. Drives me nuts. I love the Earth as much as anyone, but I love the Creator of Earth more.
    I hate to agree with Obama, but I must say that I'm beginning to believe more and more that the United States is no longer a Christian nation.
    However, cheer up, we are citizens of Heaven!! Have a blessed Good Friday!


  6. Amen! I have heard two good sermons on what Christ went through two days in a row. Wednesday was at youth group; our youth pastor is becoming a missionary in Romania so a guy from youth group is filling in for him until they can hire another man. He talked a lot about the physical and spiritual torture. Very descriptive – I cried my eyes out. I can't go to the church service tonight because I promised a girl at my youth group that I would go to her birthday party and the service starts in the middle of the party. I still wish I could go. I'm kind of conflicted with this decision.
    Stupid earth day! The earth is great and God created it so He should know what it needs and how to supply it.
    This girl at school yesterday at my table was running her mouth about saving the earth and the animals by stop reading paperback books and I was like, "Never!" She went on about destroying the rainforest and all the creatures that inhabit it. It irked me so much, finally I just said, "They can go die then." So she'd stop talking about, "cutting down the rainforest," which actually has nothing to do with books....
    CRAZY the things people talk of instead of Christ....

  7. Abigail, it's so nice to know that your youth group is focusing on all that Jesus suffered for us. Don't feel bad about going to your friend's party. A promise is important to keep.
    And Bless you for standing up to that girl at school!!! You have much more courage than I did at your age.

  8. this was a very good post, but there is something I want to point out. Jesus bore the sins of MANY people, but not ALL people. if Jesus bore everyone's sins, then everyone would be saved. we know that if Jesus died for someone, then the Father justifies that person based on Jesus' sacrifice. if God chose not to save someone that Jesus died for, then His death would have been in vain and worthless. I believe that Jesus' death is sufficient to save all people, but it has not been applied to all people. neither will it be. But if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His death will have saved you.

  9. Thank you, Kath, for the interesting post and for sharing your views. This has been an age-old point of controversy in the church exhibiting itself in the division of Calvinist and Armenians. Are we chosen by God for Salvation or do we choose God? If God chooses us then I do believe that Jesus only died for those people. If not, and we have a part in choosing God, even if it's a small part, then Jesus must have died for all to give all a chance to come to Him.
    But as we know, simply because Jesus bore the sins of all doesn't mean all will accept that sacrifice, or as you put it, His sacrifice is not applied to all.
    Honestly, I've struggled with this concept. The Bible clearly states that God chooses us, but there are other Scriptures which state that we must accept His call. So, I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the Calvinists and the Armenians. Yet I wonder if our tiny finite minds can even grasp these eternal concepts from a God who lives outside of time.
    I really appreciate your thoughts! And I do believe we are essentially on the same page.
    Besides in the end, the only thing that matters is that we believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord!
    God bless.. and have a great Easter!

  10. There are so many different theories out there. You are right, MaryLu, it all comes down to whether we have accepted Him as our Saviour. You cannot be 'on the fence' concerning your salvation. When Christ comes, He will take those who belong to Him and cast everyone else into the lake of fire. I choose Christ!
    God bless.

  11. God's love is so beautiful and powerful. Sin is an eternal offense - so it needs a pretty powerful "cure" -and the only thing that is powerful enough to cover and wash sin is Jesus' blood! Easter is my favorite holiday. It constantly reminds me of just how wonderful God is!!!

    Hope you all have had a happy Easter!

  12. Oops, the last post was me.