The reality of the crucifixion. The brutality. The horrific truth of the happy story we are taught as children of how Jesus “died on the cross and rose in three days.” Can we, even as adults, ever comprehend the fullness of that statement? It sounds simple and, boy, are we grateful – our young minds think, “Ah, better Him to die than me.” It all sounds so clean, quick and factual.
In this video, we get just a taste of the incredible brutality that Jesus experienced for us, all because He loves us.
Enduring beatings until his bones and muscles were exposed. Grimacing in pain as salt was thrown into his gaping wounds. Staggering, as he walked up the hill to Golgotha. His face so swollen he could barely see what was in front of him. He was unrecognizable. But, all this was just warm-up act before the real show: Jesus being cruelly nailed to a cross and left there to die…by either suffocation or exposure. And if you didn’t die quick enough, the soldiers came back and broke your legs to hasten the process.
Have you ever let your mind go there? I mean really go there? Try to imagine the pain and suffering—a once handsome man now mangled, bloody, and broken—all because of His incredible love for you. No narcotics to lessen His pain, nothing left undone or unexperienced. The Son of God allowed this to happen to Him to free you and me from eternal torment. He knew there was no other way.
“Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—” Isaiah 52:14 (NIV)
I try my best to just stay on the side lines in these types of graphic situations. I have always tried to keep a mental barrier, albeit small, between the simple, clean, non-emotional words of “Jesus died on the cross”, and the true reality of the horrible, graphic, inhuman event it really was. There are times I think it is time for me to grow up.
Cue up Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”; Google crucifixion; search YouTube for a video.
Is it time for us to completely immerse ourselves in the horror of what our savior went through for us? Do we need to read it, see it, and study it to truly believe it? I hope not.