4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(post by Michael Gleason)
We can never fully comprehend what Christ did for us.
We see His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, shortly before his arrest. He knew what He was about to do, the horror He would soon face. He could have summoned a thousand angels. He could have avoided arrest as He had so many times before when His time had not yet come.
But He loved us. He knew how heinous our sin is, that God’s justice demands a penalty, and that we could never pay that penalty. So He submitted Himself to the Father’s will. He knew full well what was on the path ahead, and He chose to walk that path anyway.
Physical Torment — For Us
The Romans were experts in the art of torture. The physical pain was excruciating. In crucifixion, death is by suffocation, the weight of the body collapsing on the lungs. You have to pull yourself up to breathe — pull yourself up with hands nailed through the wrists, and push yourself up with feet that are also nailed to the cross. You would tire, and sag — and then you can’t breathe, and you have to pull yourself up again. Again you get tired, and collapse back down. And so on, as the minutes tick slowly into hours, hours of torture. A strong man might survive for several days of excruciating torment before he finally grew too tired to keep pulling himself up to breathe.
Spiritual Torment — For Us
Christ bore our sins. The spiritual torment He suffered was far, far worse than the physical torment.
The perfect, holy, sinless Son of God, who hated sin, took our sin on Himself. He became sinful — with our sin. He had done no wrong, yet He became guilty. The awful weight of my sin and your sin was laid on His shoulders.
And He bore this burden – alone.
His disciples scattered in fear for their lives, and Peter had denied Him.
It was dark for three hours at mid-day, as even Creation turned its back on the Creator.
The union between the Father and the Son, perfect from eternity, was far closer and more wonderful than any human relationship. And yet this relationship was broken at the cross, as our sin came between Father and Son. Matthew 27:46 records Christ’s agonised cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” God cannot look on sin. As Christ bore the sins of the world, the Father turned His back on His Son.
Taking Punishment — For Us
Psalm 7:11 tells us God is angry with the wicked. Christ bore our sin, taking the sin of wicked men on Himself. He bore the brunt of God’s righteous anger toward sin. God poured out the full force of His wrath and justice on the Saviour.
He paid the penalty – for us. His sacrifice satisfied God’s justice, so we can be forgiven. My sin put Him on the cross. My hand nailed Him there. My voice mocked Him. My hand held the spear that pierced His side. And yet He still loved me enough to die in my place.
The righteous Saviour became sinful so sinful men could become righteous. The Eternal God died so mortal men could live. The Master became a servant so those enslaved to sin could be set free.
He took our sin, bearing the awful burden, and He left it on the cross. He took our sin and gave us righteousness, becoming guilty so we could be innocent. He took our death and gave us life.
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
Stuart Townend (© Thankyou Music)