For many of us, today is a ‘holiday from work.’ The school system might call it an ‘in-service day,” however that is just because they don’t want to say it’s a day of Christian significance. Often I have been guilty of just letting this day pass without taking the time to remember the suffering my Lord endured. I am striving to make today the exception and take the time to remember and imagine what really took place on that cruel piece of wood.
On my current reading list is the book Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem. In twenty chapters, one for each topic, Grudem explains twenty beliefs every Christian should understand. This week my reading brought me to the chapter titled “What is Atonement?” In just a few pages the authored has helped me remember.
Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience to God so that the positive merits of that obedience could be counted for us. (Romans 5:9)
When crucified, Christ was forced to endure a slow death by suffocation, brought on by the weight of his own body. He was stretched out and fastened by nails to the cross. His arms supported most of the weight of his body. His chest cavity was pulled upward and outward, making it difficult to exhale and then draw in a fresh breath. To breathe, he had to push up with his legs, putting all the weight on the nails through his feet, and pull up on the nails through his hands, sending fiery pain through the nerves of his arms and legs. His back, already whipped raw, scraped against the rough, splinter-filled wood cross with each breath he took.
JESUS DID NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS PAIN.
“He bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24