Since the release of Mel Gibson’s movie, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how much Jesus suffered from the time of his arrest and his death on the cross. I have not seen the movie, but from what I’ve been told, it was a very horrific depiction of the Lord’s sufferings. Having read the Bible passages, I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain he endured – the beating, the mocking, being spat upon, having his beard plucked out, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion – all of it that he suffered at the hands of men. While his suffering at the hands of men certainly was horrific, we are focusing on the wrong thing. What we can see in the movie and what we can read in the Bible only tells us what he suffered at the hands of men – we don’t see what he suffered at the hands of the holy and just God:
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matthew 27:45-46
It is what we don’t see – what happened during the 3 hours when the whole earth was darkened – that is important. Now don’t misunderstand me. What he suffered at the hands of men was terrible and I am not belittling that. However, it has lead many to think that if they whip themselves and inflict other sufferings on themselves, they are worthy of Jesus Christ. There are thousands who inflict terrible things on themselves every year in the false belief that God will allow them into Heaven because they suffered like Jesus did. Our sufferings do not even get us one inch closer, much less assure us of a place in Heaven. When compared to what happened in those 3 dark hours, his sufferings at the hands of men are nothing. It is what happened during those three hours that is important:
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. Isaiah 53:4-5
During those three dark hours, God bruised him for our iniquities. God wounded him for our transgressions. God turned out the lights so we would not see it. It was so horrible, we could not bear to see it. But, Praise God, because he became sin for us, we can be healed and have peace with God.
Have you ever realized you deserve all of God’s wrath? Do you know if you will spend eternity in Heaven with God? Take the Good Person Test and find out if you will.