This is Part 5 of 6 parts in answering the question, “Who Is The One Person Who Should Have Escaped the Suffering God Allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 6 will be posted tomorrow.
Jesus Suffered on the Cross
After the Last Supper, when Jesus had gone out into the Garden, He bore intense suffering that culminated with the cross itself. While He was praying, He sweat drops of blood from the intense pressure and tension He felt in His body (Luke 22:44). He described His own emotional state when He said, “”My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” (Mark 14:34 NKJ) While He asked His Father to remove the cup (the cross) from Him, He willingly submitted to the Father’s will (Matt. 26:39).
When Jesus was taken by the Roman soldiers, His own disciples scattered and even denied Him (Matt 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72). He endured six religious and civil trials, all of which were illegal, and did not follow the legal procedures of that time. As the day began to rise, He was abused by the scourge of the Roman soldiers, the jeers of the crowds, the verbal abuse from the religious leaders and the nailing to the cross on Golgotha. But the most horrible suffering happened during the three hours from noon to 3:00 pm.
When Jesus was made sin for the human race, He bore the sins of the world (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 John 2:2). It was when darkness supernaturally fell that the Father could not look on sin because of His holiness, and Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). This was the worst suffering that anyone has ever endured. This was suffering that He did not have to accept for anything He was or had done. He should have escaped this!
Jesus Suffered To Obtain Redemption
Why did Jesus suffer? Jesus suffered in accordance with the Father’s will, because He was sent to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). He alone was able to be the ransom for us (Mark 10:45). He alone could satisfy the righteous requirements of the holiness of God and He alone was able to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). And, He alone is the example of humility in serving the Father’s will. Although He was rejected and suffered while living on the earth, He was raised to the exalted and enthroned position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
His suffering was purposeful. His suffering was as unique as the God-man of the universe is and His resurrection was the glorious evidence of the completed work (1 Tim. 3:16). Just as the bronze serpent was lifted up as a means of deliverance in the wilderness wanderings for the Jews (Num. 21:9), so also Jesus was lifted up for the deliverance of all who would believe (John 3:14). This “lifting” has a double meaning of being lifted up to heaven, for no other religious leader has been resurrected! All other leaders remain in their graves. Jesus did not remain on earth or in the grave, but returned to heaven to the presence of the Father (John 12:34; Heb. 9:24).
Through Jesus’ blood we have redemption. As Paul wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph 1:7; cf. Col. 1:14 NKJ) And the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:12 NKJ) Paying the price had a cost!
Part 6 will be posted tomorrow.