“Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”
— Matthew 27:26
Do you know what the key to Jesus’ life was? He suffered. Biblical literature underscores the importance of Christ’s suffering. Paul, in his epistles, virtually ignores the ministry of Christ but reminds us of what He suffered. In the Gospels, one-third of Matthew, Mark, and Luke deal with Christ’s sufferings and death. One-half of John’s Gospel deals with the last week of Jesus’ life. The Apostles’ Creed, which affirms facts about Christ’s life, takes a tremendous leap from the birth of Christ to His suffering and death. It passes over His entire ministry. The creed says nothing about Jesus’ great teachings, about His marvelous example, or about the incredible miracles He performed. The focus of all these works communicates the tremendous importance of Christ’s suffering and pain.
Christ came as the suffering Savior because our world suffers. It has always needed a suffering head who could empathize with its pains and agonies, and Christ completely fulfilled this need. He was betrayed by Judas, deserted by the disciples, tortured and killed by the religious leaders, and abandoned by God. He has felt our pain.
Christ’s death was the greatest act and event of His entire life. He was born to die. Death did not end the work of Christ—death was the work of Christ because through it He atoned for our sins. Three things made this atonement necessary: the abominable wickedness of our sin, God’s justice and holiness, and God’s love.
When you think of Christ’s suffering and death, remember one thing: He came to die in your place. Oh, what love God has for you and me. Today and every day, thank Jesus for what He has done.