Jesus’ arrest and trial ended in an unjust verdict. Reading through this account which begins with the ‘Last Supper’, a variety of nasty feelings, emotions and actions can be seen. The betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter who was His closest disciple, the false allegations and charges, the baseless witnesses, the whipping, the torture, the mockery, the humiliation and abuse suffered by Jesus is unparalleled.
Why did Jesus have to suffer so much? Why was He denied justice? Why did He remain silent? Before his arrest, huge crowds followed Him mostly to see the wonders He performed. To them He was more of an interesting entertainer who healed illnesses and performed miracles. Why did this miracle worker not work out a miraculous escape for Himself? By submitting to cruel treatment did He fail to prove His point? Did many in that crowd walk away disappointed that there was no spectacular escape?
Jesus freely surrendered Himself into the hands of His oppressors. The crowds that stood by had not been there at Gethsemane where Jesus agonized about the impending cup of suffering. That crowd did not know that Jesus pleaded with His Abbafor whom all things were possible. The illiterate mob that mocked Jesus failed to see His deliberate surrender into the hands of his tormentors as obedience to His Abba Father.
With each blow and each insult inflicted on Jesus, all of heaven cringed. The same angels who joyfully proclaimed His birth became silent, helpless spectators of His death. The Father Himself endured much pain to see His sinless, spotless Son put through such a grueling experience.
What was the reason for all this submission? Why did the Father allow this injustice in His son’s life? The answer to each of these questions lies in God’s desperate love that longed to save you and me even though that would cost His precious Son. Jesus willingly went through each abuse just for you. He accepted unjust treatment for you. He was scorned, injured and broken for you. He kept silent and refused help from above for you.
Do you wonder how that helps? By enduring pain and anguish and by giving up His life, Jesus Christ became the bridge between God and man. On the cross He took the punishment for your sin and mine. He knew that there was no way you and I could reach a Holy God and decided to become the mediator. Through His death, He opened a door that no man can shut, one that takes you and me to a place we dare not enter on our own; the presence of God. Knowing this, is it possible to overlook the sufferings of Christ? Where would Christians be if it not for the Cross of Christ? Nowhere!
Not only in the season of lent but always let the sufferings of Christ kindle revival in your commitment to God and fuel your passion to live the life He has given in a worthy manner. The sufferings of Christ must be etched upon a believer’s heart. But for the cross of Christ there is no hope, no life and no crown.