“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” John 12:46, NLT
For the next few minutes, set aside whatever you’re doing and take this opportunity to read and remind your heart of Jesus immense and intense sacrifice…for you.
At the age of 33, after only three years in ministry, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty. At the time, crucifixion was the means of taking the life of a criminal. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, for unlike criminals, Jesus was innocent.
Each nail that held Him to the cross was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven between the bones of His wrists, not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. This fulfilled the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:36).
Both of His feet were nailed together, one on top of the other, again between the bones. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.
Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this mind-numbing reality for over 3 hours. Yet His suffering was not just physical. As the sins of humanity were poured out upon Him—his burden to bear—the Father had to look away (Matthew 27:46). God’s Son, the perfect, sinless Lamb, became your sacrifice.
A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. Human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; when a soldier pierced His side, all that remained was water (John 19:34).
Before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten Matthew 27:26). The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. A crown of thorns (two to three inch thorns) cut deeply into His scalp (Matthew 27:29; John 19:2).
Why would the God of the universe allow His only Son to suffer such pain and humiliation?
One reason–Jesus had to endure this experience so that you may have free access to God. So your sins can be cast away as far as the east is to the west (Psalm 103:12).
All of them, no exceptions!
As we approach Good Friday, keep in mind what Jesus did for you. And don’t ever forget it. He is the only reason we live and breathe and have our being.
Prayer: Holy Father, Precious Savior, Divine Spirit, thank You. Thank You for suffering in my place, for taking my sins upon yourself, for providing a way for me to be with You, to be presented before the Father as a spotless Daughter of the Risen King! Amen and amen!