Sometimes we get so busy we forget about the things that really matter. Today as I took some time to be alone to finish some work, I listened to some of my favourite songs about what really matters – Jesus.
As I was listening to this one song, “Why” by Nicole Nordeman, it reminded me of the centrality of the cross. Why? The reason for the cross.
Those of us who have watched The Passion, a film by Mel Gibson, we would have seen a stark portrayal of the physical pain, torture and anguish that Jesus went through on the road to the cross. The whip wasn’t just a simple whip, it had metal and sharp bits at the end so that when you are whipped, the end tears into your skin and flesh and rips it from your body in agonizing pain. We cringe when we think about that. But that was the reality of the pain that Jesus endured. Why? The reason for the cross.
“He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so that we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:5.
Jesus died so that we may live.
It was the only way to eternal life. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Being God incarnate, He was perfect and without sin. He was the High Priest who pleaded for us before the Father. He was the sacrificial Lamb that was slain.
Jesus endured the whipping so that by His stripes, we can be healed.
When He went through the whipping and the crucifixion, He felt every pain in every muscle because He was human in His body just as we are, though without sin. There was no shortcut for this. He had to go through with it. For our sakes.
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42.
“…Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame..” Hebrews 12:2.
It was for us that He endured the cross. He saw each and every one of us, and thought, for His creation whom He so longs to be reconciled with, it is worth it. We are why He must die…
“My precious son
I hear them screaming
I’m watching the face of the enemy beaming
But soon I will clothe you in robes of my own
Jesus this hurts me much more then you know
But this dark hour
I must do nothing
Though I’ve heard your unbearable cries
The power in your blood
Destroys all of the lies
Soon you’ll see past their unmerciful lies
Look there below
See the child
Trembling by her father’s side
Now I can tell you why
She is why you must die”
So when we sin wilfully, we are trampling the blood of Jesus, taking it lightly, almost as if we are causing Him to go through the pain of the cross again. It breaks my heart to think of that. Yet I sin, and bring Him pain. But it is in His power to forgive and deliver us from sin, so that we are no longer slaves to sin. It is like when Jesus forgave the woman who was caught in adultery, He didn’t condemn her, and told her to “Go, and sin no more.”
I have been reading the gospels and am amazed at the character of Jesus. Such power, yet such meekness. Such righteousness and justness, yet such mercy and forgiveness. Where man chose to condemn, He chose to forgive. Where man chose to kill, He chose to give life. Where man chose to do evil, He could only do what is right.
Why? The reason for living.
He is my reason to live.