HORRIBLE BUT BEAUTIFUL

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
Psalms 22:14

It’s impossible to understand the suffering of Christ without understanding what happened at Gethsemane. Jesus was facing suffering the next day, but He was facing much more than the horrific suffering associated with crucifixion. This form of capital punishment was incredibly painful but Christ was facing something even more unthinkable. The cross for Jesus was not only about physical suffering, it was experiencing the wrath of His Father against man’s sin that was the most troubling to Jesus. The prayer in Gethsemane was Jesus saying yes to that horrible fate with eyes wide open. At Gethsemane He saw the ramifications of His sacrificial death, that night He said yes to suffering beyond imagination. Charles Spurgeon explains a little of Christ’s suffering in his comments on today’s verse.

“In soul and body, our Lord felt himself to be weak as water poured upon the ground. The placing of the cross in its socket had shaken him with great violence, had strained all the ligaments, pained every nerve, and more or less dislocated all his bones. Burdened with his own weight, the august sufferer felt the strain increasing every moment of those six long hours. His sense of faintness and general weakness were overpowering; while to his own consciousness he became nothing but a mass of misery and swooning sickness. When Daniel saw the great vision, he thus describes his sensations, There remained no strength in me, for my vigor was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength: how much more faint must have been our greater Prophet when he saw the dread vision of the wrath of God, and felt it in his own soul! To us, sensations such as our Lord endured would have been insupportable, and kind unconsciousness would have come to our rescue; but in his case, he was wounded, and felt the sword; he drained the cup and tasted every drop.”
Spurgeon saw the two types of suffering Jesus endured in His death, the physical suffering of crucifixion as well as the agony of being a sin offering for fallen man. As we remember His death this Holy Week, it does us good to see the horrible results of our sins, it was my sin and your sin that caused the suffering of Christ. Of course His death has given us total forgiveness and access to God, it shouldn’t give us an excuse to make light of sin. His death was horrible and beautiful at the same time.

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