Christ the sin-bearer relieves us of unbearable burden
As I sit and ponder on the eve of Christ’s Resurrection, I find myself broken hearted. I think of the “Easter” story… the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour. That’s easy to say isn’t it? All packaged up in a nice, polite, comfortable phrase, “the death, burial, and resurrection *** .” We are at ease when we consider all that this phrase means to us – as Christians; and yet how often do we allow ourselves to truly contemplate what that phrase meant for the Lamb of God?
Oh, the cost started way before His entry into Jerusalem… You see, according to 1 Peter 1 the plan for the “Easter” story was in place “before the foundation of the world.” Can you imagine? I know that often I have scheduled, things which I am not looking forward to; a visit to the dentist, an uncomfortable or difficult conversation, or any number of other things that I don’t want to do, and I know how miserable I can get as these “appointments” get closer. Yet Christ knew of the plan “before the foundation of the world.”
I know. Jesus is God and I’m sure He deals with things on a completely different plain than I do, but I also know that quite often for me; these dreaded appointments turn out not to be as bad as I had imagined they would be. But Christ, in His omniscience, knew exactly how bad His “appointment” would be. He knew the whole time (thousands of years at the minimum) how He would suffer.
Of course there is the emotional suffering; the rejection of His people, the betrayal of Judas and Peter, and the lack of faith exhibited by His disciples. And there is the physical suffering; the cat of nine tails that shredded His back, the beatings, the mockings, the crown of thorns that pierced His head, the carrying of His cross up to Golgotha, and the spikes — as they were driven through His hands and feet.
But that’s not all, is it?
There was the suffering of which we can know nothing, the anguish of bearing my sin debt. For He is the “Lamb of God” who taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29). We often downplay or overlook this part of the suffering. God did not simply “remove” our sins from us, our sins did not magically disappear, they were not merely gone! Jesus took them on Himself. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that God made Jesus to be sin, this Jesus who knew NO sin, in whom was found NO guile, this truly INNOCENT ONE, was made to be my sin.
The suffering that He must have experienced, paying the price for my wrongdoing, laying down His unblemished righteousness that He might pave my way to forgiveness, my way to righteousness; that I did not deserve. Did He not even ask “let this cup pass from me?” Please don’t tell me He didn’t know what He would experience in the coming days, and yet He willingly walked the path that would lead to His most excruciating anguish! Because He knew.
Jesus knew that “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven, given among men; whereby we MUST be saved (Acts 4:12).” He had already told anyone that would listen “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”. He knew there was NO OTHER WAY!
I said at the start that I sat here broken hearted, tears now coming unbidden; I’m not being trite, or, God forbid, “holier-than-thou”; I just began to type my thoughts… and it led me here.
My God, I am so sorry that it was the sin of mankind, MY sin, that required the suffering of Your Son; but I am so grateful that You loved me enough to see it through. God, I’m not sure that “Happy Easter” really applies to You… but because of You, it applies to me.
I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.