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He Was Crucified He Was CrucifiedHe Was Crucified He Was Crucified

In order to redeem mankind from sin, the Lord of life came willingly into the world to suffer poverty, contempt, shame, sorrow, grief, scourging, mockery, bloodshed, and finally, death. Just as Isaiah had prophesied of Him more than 700 years before His birth: ‘‘He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin’’ (Isa. 53:3–6,10). How lonely Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane! Although His beloved disciples were with Him, they failed to keep watch with Him and were fast asleep. He was praying alone. His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. He was not afraid to drink the bitter cup. In fact, He went voluntarily to Jerusalem to suffer. He was sorrowful and distressed because the world was exceedingly rebellious and disobedient. Jesus was judged before Pilate, but even His enemies could find no fault in Him. (He is holy, without blemish and without sin, for He is God.) Nevertheless, the merciless whip fell on His back, till He was covered with blood. Cruel soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head, and struck Him on the head with a reed. His face was also streaked with blood. They spat in His face and struck Him with their fists, and others slapped Him. They mocked, insulted, and humiliated Him to their heart’s content. Yet He didn’t open His mouth. He willingly endured such hostility of sinners against Him. The Jews asked for the release of Barabbas, a robber and murderer, instead the release of Jesus. They chose to lay a heavy and rugged cross on the innocent and bruised Savior, the Messiah (Christ)—the One they had been waiting for. Those who once received His grace forsook Him. Even His beloved disciples, who had been at His side for three years, deserted Him at that critical moment. Only a few women, followed from afar weeping for Him. A crowd gathered around Him just to see “the excitement.” Only a Cyrenian, named Simon, carried His cross all the way to Golgotha (Place of Skulls). The Lord’s hands and feet were ruthlessly nailed to the cross by Roman soldiers with long, thick nails. This was the sign of being cursed: ‘‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’’ (Gal. 3:13).

Being sinners, we should have been cursed. But on the tree, the gracious Lord Jesus Himself bore our sins in His own body, thus saving us from the curse that should have befallen us. But who has realized that He was wounded for our transgressions? When people saw Him being crucified, they showed Him no sympathy. Instead, they mocked and reviled Him. This world has despised and hated God to the extreme. For this reason, our Savior suffered excruciating physical pain and immense mental agony. But He didn’t murmur or groan. He only pleaded gently with God for those who had afflicted and rebelled against Him. He said, ‘‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’’ (Luke 23:34). Such a loving Savior was lifted up on the cross! His body weighed down on His nail-pierced hands and feet that bled profusely. His side was pierced with a spear, and blood and water gushed out. He poured out His life even to the point of death. He suffered for your sins and mine! When Jesus was hanged on the cross, darkness covered the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. All these testified that Jesus was the Son of God and that He did not deserve to die. But He did die, as a sacrifice for our sins.

The outward filth on our bodies can be washed away with soap and water, but the sin in our hearts can only be cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ, for ‘‘without shedding of blood there is no remission’’ (Heb. 9:22). And this Man who shed His blood was the Lord who created heavens and earth and all things therein! Only His blood can cleanse us of our sins. If we confess our sins and repent to Him, all our sins, great or small, will be forgiven. According to God’s righteousness, sinners should have to suffer eternally in the lake of fire. But according to His love, He has sacrificed His beloved Son to bear the punishment for our sins. If we accept this salvation, we will not perish, but will receive eternal life freely. This gracious Savior loved us first and willingly gave His life for us. How can we not love Him in return? How can we reject such a wonderful salvation? ‘‘How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?’’ (Heb. 2:3). Shouldn’t we kneel before the Lord now, weep bitterly, and confess all our sins? ‘‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’’ (1 John 1:7–9) (Please read Sin).