Today I woke up and my reading for the day was Mark Chapter 15, the chapter in which Jesus was crucified. But the last part of this chapter really got to me.
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the courtyard (that is, headquarters) and called the whole company together. 17 They dressed Him in a purple robe, twisted together a crown of thorns, and put it on Him. 18 And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They kept hitting Him on the head with a reed and spitting on Him. Getting down on their knees, they were paying Him homage. 20 When they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the purple robe, put His clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. 21 They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’ cross. He was Simon, a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 And they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Skull Place). 23 They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it. 24 Then they crucified Him and divided His clothes, casting lots for them to decide what each would get. 25 Now it was nine in the morning[c] when they crucified Him. 26 The inscription of the charge written against Him was:
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 They crucified two criminals[d] with Him, one on His right and one on His left. [28 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says: And He was counted among outlaws.][e][f] 29 Those who passed by were yelling insults at[g] Him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The One who would demolish the sanctuary and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself by coming down from the cross!” 31 In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking Him to one another and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself! 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him were taunting Him. 33 When it was noon,[h] darkness came over the whole land[i] until three in the afternoon.[j] 34 And at three[k] Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá[l] sabachtháni?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”[m] 35 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah!” 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, offered Him a drink, and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down!”37 But Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last. 38 Then the curtain of the sanctuary[n] was split in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He[o] breathed His last, he said, “This man really was God’s Son!”[p] (Mark 15:16-37, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Biblegateway.com).
Today as I was reading this the Holy Spirit gave me insight into a little bit of Jesus’s pain and suffering he felt that day. And as the Holy Spirit does often he gives me His emotions. In my mind I was there with Jesus watching from a distance as I saw them dress Him in a purple robe and hit him and spit on Him, and shout insults at Him. I watched as they nailed the nails into His hands and put the sign above Him that said, “King of the Jews.” He was mocked by soldiers; He was mocked by the chief priests. He could have stopped it, but He didn’t. He could have sent down angels or said the words and everyone there could have dropped dead in front of Him. But He didn’t. He stayed up there; He took every insult and every crushing blow, so that His death and suffering could cover our sins. God even turned His back on His son because He could not even look at Him, with all of our sin covering Him. Jesus knows what total rejection is. He received it from His Father while He was on the cross dying for you and for me. He knows what its like not to fit in; the Pharisees hated Him and called Him and blasphemer. Then those same people mocked Him as He was on the cross, saying why can’t he save Himself, He saved others. Jesus knew how important this was though, that day He would set us free from our sins and satan’s grip forever. We would no longer be slaves, but friends and servants of Christ. And at the moment Jesus died, the curtains were split in two, making it possible for all to enter the Holy of Holies and have a personal relationship with God that day because of Jesus’s sacrifice.
Today I was given just a glimpse of how deep the Father’s love is. It goes farther than pain or hurt. It is deeper than the deepest oceans, wider than the widest skies, greater than a parent’s love for their child. Remember today how much He has done for us. It is the greatest gift that we have ever received. We don’t deserve it; we did nothing to earn it. He just gave it to us because of His love. His love that is everlasting and infinite. You can know that love today. You can experience His forgiveness of your sins. You can be made right with God and He can be Lord of your life if you only ask Him too. There is nothing you can do to earn His love; we can never do enough good works to be right with God. God calls our good works “filthy rags” to Him. The only thing that can save us is Jesus Christ and you can have that personal relationship with Him today and He can set you free from anything you are dealing with. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and that you want to have a personal relationship with Him. He will show you the power of prayer and the power of His word. He will pull you from the deepest sins and set you on top of His Mountain and then you also will proclaim His good news because you will know what He has done for you. I will leave you just with this one song that sums up how much Jesus really did for you on the cross.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Lyrics by Stuart Townsend