But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man – Hebrews 2:9
Today is a very emotional day for me. The waterworks began this morning soon after I got up. I mentioned the suffering of Jesus to my husband and he said, “He suffered all the way to the cross and even while He was suffering He thought only about you and me.” As I made up the bed, his words hit home and the tears flowed as the enormity of the suffering Jesus endured for our salvation dawned on me.
Yes, Jesus suffered that day. He was beaten. He was spat on. He was mocked. He heard the religious leaders and some in the crowd call for Him to be crucified although Pilate wanted to release Him because he saw no reason for Him to be put to death. He was treated like a common criminal. He hung on the cross between two thieves and heard the people mock Him. He witnessed His mother weeping uncontrollably at the foot of the cross and He felt forsaken by His Father. That morning He was denied three times by Peter. The night before He was betrayed by Judas and abandoned by the other disciples after they had all sworn that they would never leave Him.
He suffered indignity as He hung on the cross. The Bible said, ““Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). Yet, He remained on the cross, even though passers-by called for Him to come down from the cross if He were the Son of God and the religious leaders told Him to do the same thing so that they would believe in Him (Matthew 27:39-43, Jesus remained where He was for our sake. He wanted to accomplish what He said to Nicodemus, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15).
Staying on that cross brought salvation into the world and eternal life to all who believe. There was no other way for us to be saved except for Jesus to die on the cross. He didn’t go through all that suffering just to abandon us to our fate. A lot was at stake and hedged on Him. He was sent into the world to save us and in spite of the agony He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked the Father if it were possible to take the cup away, He determined, nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). He was obedient to the Father even unto death.
Even as He hung on the cross, in excruciating pain, Jesus didn’t think about Himself. He looked down on the people who were mocking Him and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). He promised one of the thieves on the cross who asked Him to remember him when He came into His kingdom, ““Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” He promised this repentant sinner that one day he will enter the kingdom.
He looked upon His mother as she stood next to the disciple John and He said to her, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, He said, “Behold your mother!” He was placing Mary into John’s care. He was looking out for her. And it said that from that hour, John disciple took her to his own home. Even in His suffering, Jesus was more concerned for the well being of others.
What can we learn from all of this? No matter what we are going through, we must continue to remain faithful and obedient to God and to minister to others. Jesus suffered but the story doesn’t end there. He died on the cross, was buried but as He promised, on the third day He rose from the dead. He ascended to His Father after spending time with his disciples and is now sitting at the right hand of God. And one day, He will return to take us with Him. As we go through trials, suffering, pain and difficulties, let us look “for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).