The Price Paid for Sin
Shortly before His arrest, Jesus entered the garden of inexpressible sorrow. His great heart trembled with immeasurable grief over the weight of sin that bore down upon His soul that only God in the flesh could endure. He prayed in such agony of spirit that He broke the heart of God and submerged the streets of heaven in a torrent of angelic tears. His head was bowed with anguish. His body was soaked with bloody sweat. With "strong crying and tears" (Heb. 5:7), He shook the pedestal of the earth. The foundations of eternity shuddered at the sight of the weeping Christ. An angel journeyed through time and space and enfolded the suffering Savior in the arms of solace.
Lanterns intruded into the darkness of Gethsemane. Swords threatened its peace. Voices of abhorrence filled the fir. A kiss of betrayal and death was placed upon the countenance of perfect purity. The apostles fled in fear. Peter denied his Master while seeking warmth at the enemy's fire. Justice was spurned. The face of Christ was marred with human spittle and buffeting hands of hate. Thorns of mockery perforated is brow and scoffing knees knelt at His feet. His back was rent asunder and suffused with blood. Feminine voices of lament tempered the taunts and jeers on the road to Golgotha.
Nails pierced His hands and feet. The Son of God was centered between two thieves and entered a world of pain that only the mind of God could comprehend. Simeon's prophetic sword pierced His mother's heart. The sun veiled its eyes and the Temple's curtain was rent. The earth quivered, rocks shattered, graves opened, and once-dead saints walked among the living, following the resurrection of Christ. Heaven wept and hell rejoiced.
Where lies the real horror of the cross? It is not to be found in the tyranny of the Roman and Jewish courts. It cannot be witnessed in the abusive hands of the Roman soldiers. Nor can it be attested to by the physical pain and agony of the crucifixion. The true terror of the cross can only be perceived to the degree that man's finite mind is capable, in those unfathomable words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46). This is the reason Jesus prayed, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt 26:39). It was in view of this ungraspable tragedy that the prayer of Christ was bathed in "strong crying and tears" (Heb. 5:7). It was due to His extreme aversion to the truth of these words, defying man's ability to comprehend, that resulted in the capillaries of His body oozing bloody sweat. It was because of the inescapable calamity depicted in these words that God dispatched an angel from heaven to strengthen Him.
"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit and having said thus, he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46). The body of God's Son was ensconced in a borrowed tomb Early on the following Sunday morning, He broke the bonds of death and placed the seal of immortality on every tombstone. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20). For the next forty days, Jesus "showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3). On one occasion, an assembly in excess of five hundred became eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:6).