I wonder how many of us have actually sat and thought about the horrors Jesus endured. Today is labeled "Good Friday", but Jesus was already in the grave on this day. Even so, his pain continued because He descended into Hades where I personally believe he endured waves of God's wrath.
Most of us have seen the Passion of the Christ. And as horrible as that was to watch, the pain Jesus endured was so much more. The Bible says He didn't even look like a man anymore. Without going into graphic details, try to picture what that means. His hair was pulled out? His flesh was stripped from His body? His face was swollen and bloody? That was even before they hung Him on the cross.
Crucifixion is one of the most painful ways to die. Because of the positioning of the nails, shortly after the person is hung, both his shoulders and wrists become dislocated. Due to that, all weight is transferred to the chest, making it impossible to breathe. As your lungs are collapsing and filling with fluid, you try to lift yourself up from your feet to gasp for air, but then pain shoots through your feet and legs from the nails and your back, which in Jesus's case had been stripped of its skin, rubs against the hard wood of the cross. He was also completely naked for all to see. In addition, He was constantly being taunted and insulted by passersby. They say it could take days for someone to die. Thank God, Jesus only lasted 6 hours.
But that wasn't even the worst of it. As all of OUR sin and all the sin of the entire world, past, present, and future was laid upon Jesus, God the Father turned His face away, and for the first time in forever the bond between Father and Son was broken. Jesus was truly alone. One of my favorite preachers of all time, Derek Prince, stated that Jesus died from a broken heart more than anything else.
Yet, it wasn't over. Jesus had a job to do. He descended into Hades with 3 jobs to accomplish
1. Collect the keys to hell and death
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Rev 1:18
2. Preach to everyone there on both sides (The righteous and unrighteous)
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1 Peter 3:19-20
3. Bring the righteous captives back with Him to the Father
“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 7-10
While there, I believe the Bible alludes to the fact that Jesus also endured God's wrath. Check out this verse stuck in Psalm 42. I believe this Psalm is in part a Messianic Psalm. Waves of wrath?
All Your waves and billows have gone over me. Psalm 42:7
It would certainly make sense that in order to pay for all our Sins, Jesus would have to endure the wrath that we deserved in Hades. What that wrath entailed. I have no idea.
If you want to read a good 1st person description of the suffering of Jesus, read Psalm 22
I hope you spend some time today and ponder what Jesus did for you and the incredible love He has for all of us!