Jesus Christ came to earth for one purpose---his crucifixion. Luke 9:22 The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. He came to earth, lived a sinless life, then died for the sins of everyone who ever lived. Every person. For me. For you. Every sin. Despicable sins. White lies. And all in between. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(we miss the mark).
In submitting to his Father, he agreed to pay the price for our sin which was death. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He agreed to become cursed for us. See Galatians 3:10. He agreed to die a cursed death. And he agreed to be forsaken by his Father for our sakes. I wonder if we grasp the full meaning of that.
This is what his crucifixion was all about. Jesus willingly paid the price for our sins. He paid the price, accepted the guilt, bore the shame of the cursed death of a cross. Do you know why? He loved his Father. John 10:17-18 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it fromMe, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, an I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.
Why did God the Father want it? Because since the Garden of Eden God had loved his created humans. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 2 Peter 3:9 ...but God is longsuffering(patient) toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Crucifixion was common in that day. Today, if someone is executed we don’t want them to feel pain. Not so 2000 years ago. It was barbaric torture. Sometimes criminals could be seen hanging on crosses along popular highways as a message to others. It took hours of enduring terrible pain and struggling to breathe before they finally died. However, none of them were guiltless. And none of them were forsaken by God.
However, his crucifixion was different in two ways. Only he was guiltless. Only Jesus was forsaken. It must have been incredible agony to have his Father turn his face away from Jesus as he accepted all sin and guilt from every human being who had ever lived or would live.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus took on our guilt, took on our sin. He was filthy with our sins.
As Jesus became sin for us from noon until three in the afternoon God turned his face away from Jesus---the world became dark. God in his holiness could not look on such blackness. Because of our sin, his Father, turned his back on Jesus.
At three in the afternoon, Jesus could not contain his agony any longer and cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That was the worst agony of all. Jesus was completely forsaken. Alone. On his own. Finally, he said, “It is finished.” John 19:30 He had completed his task. It was over. He died.
--You might want to take time this week to read Matthew 27--
Words to light your path
Isaiah 53:3-12 (prophecy of the life and death of Jesus)
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked-- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
All references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.
Heavenly Father, open our eyes to understand this cosmic event that cost you so much and that enables us to become your children. I pray that Jesus would not have died in vain. For some it will be a wasted effort because they don’t want to repent and turn to you. But for those who receive your forgiveness and eternal life it will be the most precious possession they will ever have.