Read His Words Before Ours!
Prayers so intense, sweat became drops of blood.
Whip strikes, ripping the flesh from His back.
Thorns slipping beneath skin from the crown of thorns mockingly placed upon His head.
Nails piercing His hands and feet in order to hold Him to the tree.
His raw back pressed into the wood of the cross, imbedding slivers into shredded skin.
The inability to draw in breath as the agony of His angle slowly strangled the air from His lungs.
But the deepest pain of the crucifixion?
The weight of my sin, your sin, the world’s sin rested upon Christ’s shoulders
and God the Father turned His face away.
I’ve seen the Passion of the Christ and other depictions of the crucifixion, closing my eyes at the gruesome fate Jesus endured for my sake. The crucifixion process screams of brutality and a slow, painful death. The sacrificial lambs mentioned throughout the Word had far more compassionate endings than the one Jesus lived and died through as the sacrifice, once and for all, for my sin.
He willingly went to the cross for me.
He willingly experienced torture for me to pay for my sins.
Even now I am dumbfounded at His willingness to experience all of that for my sake, for your sake.
As I sit and process the cross today, sitting comfortably in a local coffee shop, fingers clicking away on my laptop, I sense the Holy Spirit stirring within me. My assignment is to look at the cross from the perspective of the Trinity, the Godhead three in one. Now, I readily admit I can wrap my mind around the reality of the physical aspects of Christ’s sacrifice; however, I can only begin to comprehend the agony that took place beyond the physical.
Jesus came to earth fully God and fully man.
As a member of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ death on the cross was both facilitated and experienced by more than Jesus alone. The entirety of the fullness of God in His three persons of Father, Son, and Spirit were perfectly unified in the plan to redeem us as sons and daughters.
Here was the reality:
- Sin had entered the perfect world originally created in the Garden of Eden.
- Because of the sin, a blood sacrifice must be made in order to cleanse all record of the sin and restore the relationship between God and man.
- The three persons of the whole oneness of God so loved handcrafted humanity, the sacrifice was worth the cost.
The cost of removing the sin barrier for eternity and thereby making way for restored relationship motivated the godhead to make the ultimate sacrifice. God the Son would become the perfect sacrifice, once and for all making atonement for mankind.
As I pondered the role of each person in the Trinity, quite possibly for the first time in my life from an emotionally engaged perspective, the cross and its impact on the godhead came to life.
I became a Christian when I was young and the horror of the physical pain Jesus went through stuck in my mind as the most difficult reality of the crucifixion story. However, as I reflect on the crucifixion from a more mature perspective, and with prayer to the Holy Spirit for His help in giving me understanding, the depth of sacrifice and the height of love involved in the plan of the cross began to overwhelm me.
Jesus left heaven to dwell among us and eventually die for us. He became the pure, spotless Lamb who died for our sins. He bore the agony of a brutal, physical death, but He also walked through the pain of rejection and separation from God the Father. As He became our sin, the separation sin causes required God the Father to sever the relationship until the sacrificial price had been paid.
Jesus paid that price and defeated the grave, death, and hell at the cost of breaking His relationship that had existed eternally with God the Father.
Jesus lived one side of the separation, but what of that for God the Father and the God the Holy Spirit?
I have seen my friends and siblings become parents.
I have watched them experience pain when their children are in pain.
I’ve heard them express how they would take their place if that were possible.
How much pain must God the Father have felt knowing He could have taken Christ’s place, but His love for us kept Him from destroying the only plan for our salvation?
The Father watched Jesus the Son be brutally murdered, then take on the world’s sin. His very nature requires holiness and sin cannot abide in His presence, hence the need for sacrifices to remove sin from the equation. As Jesus took on our sin, the other two persons of the Trinity were forced to turn away, forsaking the Son.
Sin must be rejected.
Christ’s love kept Him on the cross.
God the Father’s love demonstrated itself in the self-control required to follow through on the very rejection that restores our relationship with Him.
The Trinity followed through on the grand plan of redemption because of the joy set before them of restoration between humanity and God!
As I continue to envision the crucifixion’s impact on the Trinity, the role of the Holy Spirit keeps coming to mind as that of a midwife. Jesus promised the disciples that a helper is coming to them. Maybe that description came from experiencing that very help Himself? A midwife coaches a mother through the throes of birth. With each labor pain, the midwife encourages the soon-to-be-mom of the joy that is coming and cheers her on through the contractions. Might the Holy Spirit have been doing a similar work throughout the pain of the crucifixion?
In Galatians, the fruit of the Spirit is listed with love at beginning and self-control at the end. The entire process of redemption enacted by the Trinity through the cross demonstrated immense love and self-control.
As Christ bore the pain of the cross, the entire Trinity carried the burden.
For the joy to be gained by our own redemption, and for that, I am eternally grateful!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!