Have you ever imagined what Jesus endured those final hours leading up to the cross? In Mark chapter 15, we read that Jesus received 39 lashes from a whip with pieces of glass and metal on the ends – a device designed to literally rip the skin off. Beaten almost to death, Jesus was led by a Roman cohort (a whole host of soldiers) to where He would be crucified. Wearing a crown made from painful thorns, Jesus was beaten, spit upon, and mockingly called the “king of the Jews.”
Then soldiers hammered nails (a kind of spike) into His hands and feet. Historians say this alone often took up to 10 Roman soldiers just to hold a man down. The fear and adrenalin was so great. Jesus refused any wine, the ancient attempt at morphine, and a sign was mockingly hung above His head proclaiming “The King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Latin and Greek.
The sky went dark as Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind and cried out to God. For the first time in eternity, Jesus was separated from His Father. He was alone. Rejected by man and forsaken by God, it was the darkest moment in all history when our sins were cast upon Him. I can’t explain it; we are just called to believe it.
Then Jesus took His final breath and cried, “It is finished.” At this point in the story, Jesus was dead. It looked as though all He claimed to be was also finished. And yet, the story didn’t end there. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to over 500 people before returning to heaven.
Jesus, a sinless man, accepted death in order to give us life. Jesus’ death on the cross for you and for me is the greatest act of love the world will ever know. Have you ever known such love? How will you respond? I urge you to get to know His love today. Put your faith and trust in the CRUCIFIED, RISEN and LIVING LORD!