The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Satan cannot reach you without passing through God.
Then what are we to make of the occasions Satan does reach us? How are we supposed to understand the violence listed in Hebrews 11? . . Or, most supremely, how are we to understand the suffering of Jesus? Ropes. Whips. Thorns. Nails. These trademarked his final moments. Do you hear the whip slapping against his back, ripping sinew from bone? . . .
In polite Roman society, the word cross was an obscenity, not to be uttered in conversation. Roman soldiers were exempt from crucifixion except in matters of treason. It was ugly and vile, harsh and degrading. And it was the manner by which Jesus chose to die. “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8 ESV).
A calmer death would have sufficed. A single drop of blood could have redeemed humankind. Shed his blood, silence his breath, still his pulse, but be quick about it. Plunge a sword into his heart. Take a dagger to his neck. Did the atonement for sin demand six hours of violence?
No, but his triumph over sadism did. Jesus once and for all displayed his authority over savagery. Evil may have her moments, but they will be brief. Satan unleashed his meanest demons on God’s Son. He tortured every nerve ending and inflicted every misery. Yet the master of death could not destroy the Lord of life. Heaven’s best took hell’s worst and turned it into hope. – Fearless
Lord of all the earth and heavens, we stand in awe to think how you suffered to bring salvation to your children. Because of your suffering, our sins are forgiven. You triumphed over evil and freed us from its tyranny. your death brings hope and healing to our everyday lives. This greatest act of love gives grand gifts to all who receive them. thank you, amen.
‘We know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who
thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:2-3
‘ Our soul waits for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. For our
heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.’
Max Lucado, Live Loved, Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN.