In the book of Isaiah the crucifixion of Christ is foreshadowed, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5.
Next week is known among Christians as Holy Week when we recount the days and events that lead up to the crucifixion of Christ. Isaiah foretold them and we look back and recall that “the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him,” Isaiah 53:6.
While Jesus hung on the cross between heaven and hell he made seven statements that if we reflect on them we get some idea of what He experienced for us. Those last statements are the testimony of a dying man.
The only hearsay evidence permitted in a court proceeding is that of a dying declaration when it can be sufficiently corroborated. It is thought that a dying person, with nothing to gain or lose, would be especially honest.
On the day He died, around midday, Jesus uttered these words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. Jesus’ ordeal had begun as he prayed in Gethsemane before His arrest and trial. This statement gives us some insight into Christ’s troubled prayer in the garden when He sweated anxious drops of blood.
Jesus was fully man and fully God, in the garden He wrestled with what His human nature feared about what His divine nature knew must happen on the morrow. There would come a point when taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus would be separated from fellowship with the Father, something He had never known throughout eternity.
What every man, woman, boy and girl begin to experience from the day of their birth, separation from the Father because of our sins, is something Jesus did not experience until the day of His death.
A wagon train of pioneers was crossing the vast western prairie when they saw a fire on the horizon. Prairie grass grows taller than a man and when it catches fire and is driven by the wind one can’t outrun it nor maneuver around it. Palpable fear gripped the adults that even a child could recognize.
The wagon master was a seasoned leader and ordered fires to be set at the rear of the wagons. The same wind driving destruction toward them burned off an area they could safely retreat to. A little girl recognized the relief on the face of her mother and asked why she was no longer afraid. The mother replied, “We are standing where the fire has already burned.”
When one turns from their sin to faith in Christ hellfire no longer holds any fear because he stands where the fire has already burned. As we reflect this coming week on the crucifixion of Christ, let the words of Paul resound in our ears, “You have been bought with a price,” 1 Corinthians 6:20.