Jesus went beyond agony on the cross for us. The “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” suffered a magnitude of pain that was off the charts as He hung suspended between earth and heaven… in this moment belonging to neither, but Creator of both. Though three hours now hanging in the Palestinian sun, the worst of His agony was about to begin; the moment when the sky would darken and His soul would be torn away from His Father. The moment which caused Him to cry out,
“Eloi, Eloi, lamasabathani… which means My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?”
In that dark moment the great pinnacle of redemption’s plan would be fulfilled… the moment when Jesus, who knew no sin… would be made sin for us… that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. An amazing plan. Amazing grace. Amazing love.
Our Triune God, Trinity incarnate, is now torn apart between His love for His own glory and holiness and His love for us. An early glimpse of this moment can be seen in the words of the prophet Hosea, who cried out with God’s voice to a disobedient nation,
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
Some have suggested that Jesus descended into Hell at this point. I don’t know that this is true. I do know that the suffering Jesus willingly bore in this period was as hellish an experience as could be endured. This One Who had always lived in relationship now stood alone as our scapegoat, as the sinbearer, as the target of God’s righteous wrath and anger against every and all sin. He became all of our sin… we received all of His righteousness. All of our sin… not just that in the past until our conversion but all of it… past, present, and future… is now forgiven. It isn’t a fair exchange
…but it’s what love did.
“My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from the words of my groaning?” Psalm 22:1
FOR REFLECTION: If Jesus bore (paid the price for, became) all of your sin on the cross, why would you allow condemnation for sin into your life? Confess your sins to the Lord… forsake them… and walk in freedom He died to bring you!