I read in a recent article the other day about a famous sports athlete who, after being sent out of the game by the referee, started yelling at the referee and apparently, anyone who can barely read lips would know exactly what he said. It was a few not-so-nice bombs and then a term that is derogatory towards a certain group of people, and many people plainly saw it on live TV. So this player was fined $100,000 for his lack of bridling his tongue. For him, basically a slap on the wrist with a dry spaghetti noodle. For most people, that would be a lifetime of repayment. For him, no lesson learned. For us, a life changing lesson. For him, a fine. For us, a full payment.
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
Jesus suffered for our sin to make payment for what we do. God had to make Jesus feel the full weight of what he was doing. A little bit ago, we had the youth over at our place to watch “The Passion of the Christ.” The depiction of what Jesus went through was brutal to watch. I could only imagine what it would have been like to see the actual event take place. On the other hand, I am sure I can’t even come close to imagining the amount of pain just one of those strikes would inflict.
Jesus went through unnecessary beatings even before he was brought before humans to be judged. These beatings alone would cause many people to pass out from pain. Then add in the thrashings, and most people would go into shock or worse from half of what Jesus endured. On top of that, on top of the bruised and battered body, the shredded skin and muscle of the back, the loss of blood, the lack of sleep… On top of all of that, add in a 300+ lb cross that is placed on the shredded skin. Most people couldn’t drag a 300 lb piece of lumber over a smooth surface that was coated with butter let alone carry it up steep hills over cobble stone roads. Could you imagine, after all the pain from the beatings and thrashings, placing an unfinished, heavy piece of wood on your shoulders and then pushing into it to carry it? Yet Jesus endured, and he pushed through.
Jesus was able to do this because we was God in the form of man. He was with the One who sent him and then One who sent him was with him. He suffered through and endured something that no man could ever take. Even with the hanging on the cross with the stretching of the arms, the nails pounded through the flesh and hung from those nails, Jesus was able to endure. But really, this was equivalent to a slap on the wrist with a dry spaghetti noodle. This was a fine, not full payment.
Look, a time is coming – and has come – when you will be scattered, each one to his own home, and I will be left alone. Yet I am not alone, because my Father is with me. -John 16:32
God wasn’t done yet. God had to give the full sacrifice of his son so that man would be saved. He had to allow his son to feel the full weight of the payment. This wasn’t through more physical pain or damaging. This wasn’t through the verbal ridicule of the people. God allowed Jesus to feel the full weight of death, the payment for our sin, by forsaking the one He sent. HE LEFT JESUS ALONE! Only then did Jesus feel the full pain, the loneliness, the agony… the death that was needed. God will not forsake you or me, but He forsook his own son.
My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; my tongue sticks to my gums. You set me in the dust of death. Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. I can count all my bones; my enemies are gloating over me in triumph. -Psalms 22:14-17
It was no longer a fine.
It was payment in full.
Jesus has paid for the right to give us life.
This is the real reason for Easter. To give us life. A life through Christ because he died for you and for me.