Phil.3:10 - That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings...
Jesus suffered many things during His earthly ministry. Mocking, ridicule, unbelief, hunger, rejection, betrayal, and a host of other sufferings that substantiated both the Old Testament prophesies and the fact that He was human as well as divine. A magnificent mystery, God, birthed through a human womb, appears physically as a human being but was also God in the flesh. The intertwining of human and divine, incomprehensible.
The Scripture makes special references to His sufferings in death, on the cross. We are now proceeding through a hallowed archway of astonishment and reverence which is so holy the angels will never understand. Why? Because God's faithful angels have never known depravity or redemption and the demonic beings have known depravity but not redemption. We have known both, and the breathtaking offer of eternal redemption has only been extended to us. Why God Almighty, in all His Holiness, ever held out the olive branch of His Son is unsearchably embedded in His love, but the actual cost that The Branch would have to endure is infinitely past our complete comprehension, but the Holy Spirit allows us some humbling glimpses that deepen our broken worship before Him.
Since our lives were formed in that first cell inside our mother's own body we have known sin. The Scripture declares we were, "formed in iniquity". The sin of Adam came through our father, contaminated that first cell, and we subsequently and quite willingly embraced it. We weren't satisfied to carry Adam's torch, no, we built upon his foundation and paraded around our own living, growing, and personalized exhibition of sin which became an enemy of God Himself.
Now against that horrible backdrop comes the sinless Lamb of God. Do not shortchange the word "sinless", for in it lives a purity and righteousness that dwells in a bottomless ocean of holiness. These words are foreign to the natural man, who is much less able to fully absorb their Spiritual meaning and completeness found in the Son of God. Now as Jesus walks through about 33 years of this place of rebellion against His Father and thereby Him, He remains untouched by sin. It is impossible to know the exact moment that the Father placed our sins and iniquities on His Son. Was it as He was scourged? Was it at the first nail piercing His hand? Was it during the final three hours? No one knows but God, but the Scriptures clearly declares that, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all". Selah. Hush. Meditate. Bow. Wonder.
He was completely innocent and He never had been touched by sin. The first Sacred cell in Mary's borrowed womb was thoroughly Holy and the infant named God was born from a faithful yet sinful handmaiden's body, but He was Spiritually pristine. The sufferings of this Lamb had been pictured by every turtledove, every goat, ever bullock, and every lamb that was sacrificially slain over thousands of years. Does your heart go out to a twitching young lamb as it suffers in the pain of death at the hands of the High Priest? How would you feel to see your own dog's throat slit and hear it cry out in excruciating pain? We could not bear even the thought. Now imagine your oldest child, their body mutilated, being tortured to death as they cry to you, "Why aren't you helping me?". Oh how we tend to make our Father somewhat emotionless in this and yet the pain that must have ripped through His being is beyond us. Sure He knew His Son would resurrect, but we know our saved loved ones are headed for heaven yet we grieve to see their pain.
The sufferings of Jesus, in the flesh and in the body, quantity and quality. If you spent an eternity being punished in hell for your sins you couldn't ever fully satisfy the justice of God, but Jesus did it in six hours and for the entire human race. All the sins of Hitler, Mao, Mohammed, Manson, You, Me, everyone. He became sin and became the scapegoat. "He who knew no sin, became sin..." In six hours He suffered eternally for every man. Not at the hand of the Jews, not at the hand of the Romans, not even at our hands. After the "Passion of the Christ" came out there was a big controversy as to who killed Jesus. Some said the Jews, some said the Romans, but most Christians said we did through our sins. All of those are theologically incorrect. Isaiah 53:10, 11 - Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He has put Him to grief. Take off your earthly sandals you are on Holy ground. It was The Father that caused Jesus to suffer. I cannot imagine such horror, revealing such love - for us? In a tiny portal of future revelation Abraham's hand is stayed just before killing his son, but this event only shadows a coming, disturbing scene that confounds the entire universe. The Creator murders the Creator - for the creation. Now we've really gone beyond our ability to understand, this is pure faith.
A bloody, mutilated, twitching, grotesque, and suffering Lamb.
Lying, adultery, homosexuality, pride, child molestation, stealing, rape, cannibalism, blasphemy, murder, all on Him.
The perfect and Holy wrath of Almighty God - poured out on this innocent Lamb, God's Son.
Our Older Brother, our Lamb, has endured the punishment that should have been ours. You think you suffer? We're way out of our league.
Lord Jesus, we bow in holy reverence and worship at your sufferings. The canvas of your cross has painted a scarlet masterpiece of pain and suffering by which we have escaped. As you exhale your last breath we see your tortured, unrecognizable frame. Dead. We realize that this is what the Father would have eternally done to us but we have been declared innocent, at your expense.
Halleluiah to the Lamb - You are Worthy!!