The Agony Of The Cross

by Jan 12, 2023Devotional1 comment

Proverbs 15:4 Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

      I saw a painting depicting the agony of the cross that Jesus was nailed to. This image so pierced my heart, that it caused an emotional pain of sorrow. Not only was the torment of Christ’s twisted body depicted, but what also affected me was that the agony of those who were watching the crucifixion was also seen and felt. Their agony was illustrated as distorted suffering in their souls and was shown by a contortion of pain throughout their bodies. I could feel the agony of the cross within me and it truly did hurt. Realizing at the same moment that we had put Jesus on that cross by our choice of sinfulness.

      To have been an eyewitness to this cruel event should have shaken everyone’s life forever. However, this method of torture was seen throughout the Roman Empire and had simply become a reminder of who was in charge. The crucifixion of Christ should have been appalling to any rational human being because Jesus was an innocent man. However, the Gospels say that the mockers were in full agitation. Matt. 27:39  Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

      I do not think we will ever understand the fullness of the finished work that took place on the cross. I believe we will always be lacking in our understanding of what really happened on that day of reckoning. Every once in a while we might get a heart-stopping jolt of insight into what Jesus did for us, but the full revelation of the atonement will only be seen in eternity. I think this is why Paul kept seeking an ever-increasing understanding of the suffering of Christ because the depths of God’s salvation gift is deeper than the universe is vast. Phil. 3:10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death. The more we can understand the sacrifice Jesus offered us, the more we can offer a holy hand to those who are still lost in their trespasses and sins. Prov. 15:4 Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. 
      The crucifixion of Jesus on the tortuous cross is not a popular topic to talk about in this sanitized and censored age we live in. We just want the cute and warm-feeling story of salvation that doesn’t make us out to be the wretches we truly are. The truth is that Jesus was sacrificed for our sins, and He was the only propriation that would satisfy the wrath of God’s judgment against sin. Many people do not like to be beholding to God, so they make up their self-made and tolerant way of appeasing God’s wrath. Good deeds according to their own beliefs will make God happy and if He is not happy about the self-righteous offering, then too bad. Rom. 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
      To understand what Jesus suffered during His crucifixion, we only have to read the prophetic account of the agony that sin caused the Godhead as Jesus hung and paid for our sins. Psalm 22:12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
      It was approximately a thousand years before Christ was crucified that the Psalmist wrote this revelatory description of what our saviour would have to suffer. Of course, the historic naysayers claim this psalm was only written a short time before Jesus was born – because they exclaim, “How could the clear description of the cross and suffering it caused be known hundreds of years before the Roman Empire was ruling?” It seems to me, the same descendants of those who mocked Christ on the cross are still mocking the righteous sacrifice by throwing out conspiracy theories because of their hatred of God. Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.   
      The fact remains, that the agony of the cross is real, and we, the human race, put Jesus on that cross because of our rebellion and sinful choice to disobey the Creator. It comes down to our choice of having faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. We put our faith in the gift of who God says is the way, the truth, and the life. Lord Jesus, thank you, for taking my guilt and shame so that I would not have to live in the agony of separation from our Heavenly Father. Amen!
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