When the Lord arrived at the garden of Gethsemane, Scriptures reveal that He “began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed” (Matthew 26:37, NKJV), so much so that He expressed to the disciples, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” (v.38).
The moment had arrived. The purpose of Jesus’ fleshly time on earth was now at hand: He was to die for fallen humanity. He was to restore the severed relationship between God and humankind. As He endured the most brutal torture, the culmination of the world’s sin—from the past to the present—was upon Him.
Sin is heinous. It separates you from God. You become completely alienated from the presence of the Holy One because sin is unholiness. In Lost: Needing Jesus, Alan H. Judd wrote, “The horror that results from the separation that sin makes between the Holy God and those made in His image is beyond the ability of the mortal mind to comprehend or human words to describe” (p17). Though we don’t understand the depth of this separation, the Lord understood. He understood the seriousness of it that He, out of love for the world, voluntarily and temporarily submitted Himself to the Father to undergo crucifixion to save us from sin’s eternal consequences (Philippians 2:6-8). He “bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24; cf. Isaiah 53:4,5, NASB).
Sin is so heinous that it causes physical, spiritual, psychological, and/or emotional damage. It breaks apart families, relationships, and friendships. Sin is so heinous that it had to take God to come down here in the person of Christ to rid us of it. Sin is so heinous it caused the Lord of glory to be crucified and experience agony. He hung on the tree for hours to die for our sins. For your sins. N. T. Wright correctly stated that the cross was the avenue “by which to rid [God’s] world of the evils which have resulted from human abuse of God-given freedom.” Christ’s crucifixion was a moment of cleansing the world of what sin wrought.
Next time we make light of sin, tolerate it, or lose our conviction of it, take a walk up to the hill of Calvary and stop at the foot of the cross; look up, and behold the Suffering Savior who bore it to free us from its grip and reconcile us back to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). How heavy the weight of sin, but how deep God’s love for us. What matchless, incomparable love He has shown (John 15:13)!
Do you love Jesus? Now is the time to start making lifestyle changes for Him. I came across one question that I will never forget and one that I ask myself, too: “How can a person say he loves the Lord if he also loves the things which nailed Him to the cross?” (McAdams p70). The weight of our sins crucified Jesus, so we must give them up if we love Him.
Make not His sacrifice vain. If you’re a Christian who has gone astray, reach out to a brother/sister in Christ for prayer and help. If you’re not yet a Christian but want to come to Jesus, obey the Good News. This is the Good News: He died so that we could live. His blood was shed so that we could receive forgiveness. He was buried and rose again so that we could be able to live a new life for God and one day live forever with Him. His sacrifice was made to restore the relationship that was severed in the Garden at the beginning. Obeying this Good News means to give up our old way of living, put to death bad habits, and come to Him willing to be cleansed and renewed by His precious blood through water immersion (see pictures below).
Meditation hymn of the day: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom