This Is Going To Be Painful

Dear Friends,

Today is the day we call Good Friday.  It is the day Christians traditionally remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary.  Do you know what Jesus had to do in order to accomplish His purpose? 

Most Christian have heard of the excruciating pain He endured during His trial and crucifixion.  (By the way: the very word “excruciating” was invented for the pain suffered on a cross.)  In addition to the physical pain He bore, the sin of the world was placed on Him so that as a “perfect” sacrifice, He could justly pay for our penalty.  Can you imagine the guilt of every person who’d ever lived put on Him at that one moment?

The most “physically” painful memory I have as a youth was when I went on a scouting hike as a thirteen year old.  I was carving a stick with my new knife and cut the top of my left thumb, like . . . really cut it.  The leaders helped me clean it out and butterfly bandage it.  It became a sort of an “honor badge” among the brotherhood of my troop.  Since we were miles out and two days from returning, we thought it would be OK.

When I got home and removed the bandage, the entire thumb was red, full of puss, and more sore than a tank on your toe.  The doctor said I needed stitches but I couldn’t have any numbing because the area was infected.  So, I sat there holding my thumb out, sweat dripping down my face as he opened it up, cleaned it out, and put four stitches right there in the top of my thumb.  (Yes, I watched the whole thing.)  Up to that point in my life, that was the greatest physical pain I had experienced.

Many of you know that my mother died when I was five years and I became a “Ward of the State” placed in various foster homes for several years.  As a kid, I didn’t fully understand everything that was happening to me nor was I able to articulate the emptiness I felt in my gut every night before crying myself to sleep . . . alone in a strange family’s bed.

Here’s the honest truth . . .

If I had a choice . . .

“I would have gladly . . . traded . . . a thousand “infected thumb stitchings” to get my mother back.”

Physical pain is nothing compared to the gut wrenching loss of a loved one or a relational separation.  Emotional wounds are breath-sucking, strength draining,  often depriving the victim of any hope.

Jesus endured physical pain, yes.  But, because sin separates us from God, when Jesus took our sin upon Himself, He was separated from the Father.  That is why in utter anguish, He cried out:

“My God!  My God!

Why have you forsaken me!”

He not only endured the

  • physical trauma of a scourging,
  • the taunting, the beatings
  • the chest fracture from falling under the weight of a heavy cross, resulting in (literally and figuratively) a broken heart
  • nails piercing the nerve-saturated hands and feet,
  • the most excruciating, oxygen depriving, suffocating, brutal torture ever invented . . . crucifixion.

He endured separation from the Father.

The One He had known in perfect harmony throughout eternity . . .  I am convinced that the most difficult pain Jesus went through for us, was being left entirely alone.  He loved us that much.

This is why Jesus came:

To Die For You And Me

Remember that . . .

Jesus came so that through His sacrifice we might live.  He came and took our punishment upon Himself so that God’s perfect justice would be fully paid for and fully satisfied at the cross.  Just believe friend . . . confess Jesus as your Lord.  Give Him your life today.  And if you have given your life to Him . . . tell somebody and take them to church this Sunday!

We serve a risen Savior!  Happy Easter!

Love you guys,

Steve 🙂

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