He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him’ with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 KJV)
Something inexplicable happened between Jesus and His Father when He was on the cross that will never be understood this side of eternity. His dignity shattered, His body wracked with the pain of the condemned and His mind troubled with the grief of the betrayal, the experience more than lived up to the vision He had the night before in the garden which had provoked sweat drops like blood. The lamb without blemish, Jesus as the only “begotten” son was uniquely qualified to make the ultimate sacrifice that would offer salvation to mankind.
Yet the pain and indignity of the cross were not the worst of it. That distinction would go to being forsaken by His Father, by our Father. He knew what we, mercifully, will never know. For the only time in His thirty-three earthbound years He felt the sting of being abandoned, a feeling so primal He cried out to God in anguish, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”
What transpired in those final dark hours or the two nights when Jesus’ spirit wasn’t accounted for may always remain a mystery. What we do know is it was sufficient to pay the price set by God for all of man’s transgressions. Acknowledging our debt and the penalty Jesus paid is the gateway through which we must pass to shed our mortality in favor of life everlasting.
If Jesus was willing to endure a criminal’s death, designed by the Romans to maximize suffering in order to secure our salvation, who are we to deny Him and settle for what this life has to offer. Our destiny is either one of heavenly bliss or the darkness of the grave---the choice is ours.
Father, please accept our small measure of faith to combine with the boundless love and mercy Your Son showed at Calvary. Amen.