The Horror of the Cross

… Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

— Hebrews 12:2

After having been skewered to the cross, lifted up naked before all the world to see, Jesus endured the shame and the horror and the agony and the pain of the worst kind of human suffering. For three interminable hours He hung there, until at last there came high noon.

Then, in the peak of the heat of that day, suddenly the sun’s light failed, and a great darkness descended at noon, and a blackness covered the earth. In that darkness, unseen by mortal eyes, there came a hand down from Heaven and extended before His face that cup containing the sin of the world. It was placed to His lips, and willingly Jesus drank it down to the very dregs, and the Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God, became sin for us.

The physical sufferings of Christ were so horrendous that we can hardly contemplate them at all. But it was the spiritual suffering that killed Him. Every sin and sorrow was laid on Him—everything from a harsh word to murder, betrayal, and hatred; He carried it all.

As the hymn puts it, “What Thou my Lord hast suffered was all for sinners gain. Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.”

Question to ponder:
How can we respond to the greatest expression of love in the universe?