Jesus’ Side of The Story
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
How cute and fuzzy we have made Easter. There is the plush Easter bunny, alongside delicious chocolates, cookies, cakes and a fabulous dinner! The celebration of the resurrection is a good action of gratitude to Jesus. The resurrection of Christ is the sin shattering event, which is the centrality of our faith! This brings us salvation.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
There is a glorious and wonderful comforting assurance of this verse. Therefore, it is a good thing to celebrate Resurrection Sunday or Easter!
We should always keep the resurrection of Christ, forefront in our heart. However, we must never forget the history of Christ, pre-resurrection. Our leading verse states it very bluntly, Christ endured the cross. The Lord endured the cross. He knew about this event, which would happen to Him, all His life. He taught His disciples about its coming to Him.
“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Matthew 16:21
The discerning mind understands this verse teaches Jesus was very cognizant of the brutal death waiting for Him. He had to endure the knowledge of crucifixion all His life. How do you think He felt about this? The Lord knew He had to take all the sin of humanity, past, present, and future, into Himself and die a punishing death for it. This fact was in His heart every day. Furthermore, the Apostle Peter tells us something very interesting about Jesus and His knowledge of His crucifixion.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” 1 Peter 1:18-20
Since, Jesus is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14), Peter said Jesus knew about His incarnation to become a man and be crucified for our sins, before there was the earth. God the Son had to endure this knowledge before creation was made, the enduring of a painful brutal awful death. He endured the knowledge of eternal life becoming a mortal life and suffering death. How do you think He felt about this?
The feelings of enduring the knowledge of His impending death and going through it were deep. Listen to this insight and try to feel Jesus’ agony in enduring the marching to the cross.
“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:7-8
Jesus, God incarnate, in His enduring of the cross, suffered deep spiritual distress. The greatness of His agony, in enduring, moved Him to prayer and make supplications to God the Father daily. These prayers and supplications were expressed vehemently. The enduring of the agony of the cross brought Jesus into an emotional state filled with tears of anxiety. Nevertheless, the Son of God endured the cross! Yes, Jesus had strong (vehement), emotions about His sacrifice, and why not?
What did Jesus have to endure about the cross?
- He had to endure becoming something He was not.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Do you hear the harshness of this verse, concerning what Jesus had to endure concerning the cross? God, His Father, made His Son, SIN. There are two aspects to what the Father did in making His Son sin.
Firstly, the DNA from the forbidden fruit eaten by Adam, which changed Adam’s nature to a sin nature, was put into Jesus. The sinful nature, of all humans, became Jesus’ DNA.
Secondly, every sin of thought, word, and deed was placed on Jesus. All the grossness of men and women now belongs to Christ.
The result of this being made sin for us leads to the cross. What a burden Jesus endure, the burden of transformation from holy, pure, good, and righteous God, to be sinful, impure, unholy man. As God, it was one-thing to have the knowledge of sin, but it is quite earth shattering for God to be made sin. This reality, Jesus had to endure to the cross.
- He had to endure the hatred, despising and rejection of the humans He created and loved.
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him,” Isaiah 53:3.
- He had to endure betrayal from His disciples.
“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him,” Mark 14:10,43,45.
- Yes, Jesus had followers, yet, at the eve of His crucifixion,
“Then they all forsook Him and fled,” Mark 14:50
- His best friend, Simon Peter denies and curses Him.
“But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Luke 22:60-61
- The nation whom He delivered out of the bondage of Egypt, delivers Him to the punishment of the cross.
“Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King,’” Luke 23:1-2.
- The people whom He walked among, who He did good works to, revolted against Him.
“Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’” Matthew 27:17,22
- He had to endure the mocking by the Roman soldiers.
“Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him,” Mark 15:16-20.
- He had to endure the humiliation of the death march to Golgotha as a convicted criminal along the Via Delarosa, with the crowds of onlookers mocking Him and weeping for Him.
“Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,” Matthew 27:32-33.
- He had to endure the insults hurled at Him, from the people He loved, while hanging naked and exposed on the cross. They blasphemed their Messiah!
“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, ‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Matthew 27:39-43
- He had to endure the mocking of the Roman soldiers and their pilfering of His clothes.
“The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.’” Luke 23:36-37
“Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: ‘They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.’” Matthew 27:35
- He had to endure the reviling of the two criminals crucified next to Him.
“Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.”Matthew 27:44
Yes, the truth is God the Son, in enduring the cross, had to put up with our abject despising hatred for Him.
- He had to endure two-family matters of heartbreaking proportions.
Firstly, His siblings did not believe in Him.
“For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” John 7:5
Secondly, He had to watch His mother’s heart break while hanging on the cross. As the firstborn son, Jesus was responsible for the care of His widowed mother. Such a heart break this must have been for Him to give away His responsibility to someone else, outside the family.
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26-27
- He had to endure the physical pain of the execution judgement.
- He was given a whipping. “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him,” John 19:1.
- A crown of large thorns was smashed on His head. “And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head,” John 19:2.
- He was beaten by the soldiers. “Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands,” John 19:3.
- He had to carry a heavy cross to Golgotha, outside of Jerusalem. “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,” John 19:17.
- He was physically nailed to the wooden cross. “They crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center,” John 19:18.
- He hung on the cross for three merciless hours gasping for each breath of life. “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.” Matthew 27:45,50
Yes, Jesus, in enduring the cross, suffered excruciating pain.
- He had to endure physical and spiritual separation from God, His Father. For the first time in the eternal existence of God, the Trinity of Oneness is broken! The second person of the Trinity, Jesus, is dying on the cross because He was made sin for us. The promise given to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17 is now being fulfilled, the promise of death.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”
Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The full death God promised him in the garden; He would give to someone else. He would give it to a future, “Seed of the woman,” Genesis 3:15. Jesus is that seed. Now on the cross, the fullness of death is happening, the worse part of all, spiritual death from God. Listen to Christ’ cry of agony in this portion of death. “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Matthew 27:45-46.
I don’t think we can comprehend this agony of cry concerning God being separated from Himself. This was horrific for Jesus. Nevertheless, He endured the cross!
- Finally, He had to endure human death. The eternal life of Jesus, which is spirit, for “God is spirit” (John 4:24), dies a physical death.
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit,” John 19:30.
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:46
What words can explain this, God the Son, dead, hanging on the tree? He was cursed for us.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’),” Galatians 3:13. On top of all Jesus had to endure concerning the cross; He had to endure becoming a curse. All the evil we are and punishment of it, became His. And yet, Jesus endured the cross.
What did Jesus think about all which was waiting for Him in His journey to endure the cross? Since, God is love did He look at enduring the cross with affectionate enjoyment? Did Jesus take the enduring of the cross as a joking matter? I think we will be surprised by what Jesus really felt about enduring the cross, and all the shameful things mentioned above. Hebrews 12:2 states He was, “Despising the shame,” of it. Although the cross was the plan of the Trinity before creation and agreed upon by the Trinity, for they are one, the actual mindset towards it was not a pleasing thought, but one God would not want to happen. Jesus despised the shame of it. However, He endured the cross even though He had an aversion toward it. Why, would Jesus go through something He despised, sacrificing Himself on the cross? Again, the answer is found in Hebrews 12:2, “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” The joy set before Christ after the cross was a motivating factor. It was a threefold joy He would receive.
Firstly, Jesus had the joy of resurrection restoration of life and ascension back to the Father.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father,” John 10:17-18.
The wonder of the joy of the restoration of the unity of the Trinity was greater than the despising shame of enduring the cross. “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19.
Now, we can understand this verse,
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
The first joy is the restoration of the unity of the Trinity. Jesus who became something He was not, to go to the cross, had the joy of coming back to what He was after the resurrection!
Secondly, Jesus had the promised joy of victory over the rebellious Satan. Genesis 3:14-15 shows us this plan of joy.
“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.’”
Jesus endured the cross for the joy of defeating His enemies.
“And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it,” Colossians 2:14-15. Satan is defeated, hallelujah!
The second joy is the victory over darkness.
Thirdly, Jesus had the joy of knowing His cross would bring salvation to us. Furthermore, He would have the joy of reconciliation with humans created in the image of God.
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Colossians 1:19-22
He also would gain the joy of the Father, who loved the whole world, by His obedience to the cross. This suffering through obedience had the joy of perfection set before Jesus. “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings,” Hebrews 2:10. The joy set before Jesus gave Him the strength to endure the cross even though He despised the shame of it. For out of the ashes of crucifixion came the beauty of resurrection, restoration, perfection, reclamation and salvation for us.
Yes, Jesus endured the cross, suffering the shame of it, to get through to the joy after it, the indescribable joy of Easter! Jesus Endured! Jesus is Lord!
Finally, we need to ask a question, has the resurrected and ascended Jesus, who is sitting at the right hand of the Father, finished with the enduring of the cross?
The answer to this question is, “No, Jesus is still enduring the cross, now, in heaven!” The doorway of the cross of Christ is open to the world for salvation. Many ask, “Why does God allow evil in the world?” Well, He is not allowing it, but enduring it through the cross of Christ. Jesus still endures the cross in heaven hoping all the people created in the image of God, you and me too, will come to the cross to be saved. For it is God, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:4. Therefore, Jesus continually endures the cross. He does this because, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved,” John 3:17. How painful it must be to God, to see mankind scorn the cross and blaspheme Jesus, who endured the cross, with the curses of Him, out of their mouths. The holy God once reached His limit of enduring the sin of man in the days of Noah. One wonders, if He was going to abandon the cross to save us, but Noah found grace (the enduring of the cross) in the eyes of God. “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” Genesis 6:6-8.
In this time of history, the grace of God for salvation is available for all. The message of Easter is the resurrection of Christ from His death on the cross and burial. The cross is behind Him, and He endures it still for all to enter God’s forgiveness and reconciliation. I hope you have entered in.
Finally, will there be a time when Christ’ endurance of the cross will come to an end? The answer is, yes, the time is coming when the endurance of the cross will end.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come,” Matthew 24:12-14.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be,” Matthew 24:27.
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:15.
There is a day coming, as in the days of Noah, when the endurance of the cross will end. The death for sin, which Christ took for us, will come upon those who did not come to His cross. However, for those who believe In Christ, they will enter the JOY which was set before Jesus. Yes, Jesus taught this in the Parable of the Talents. He has a joy to share. “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the JOY of your lord,’” Matthew 25:21.
The joy set before Jesus is ready to replace the enduring of the cross. This joy He wants to share with us.
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
In summary, we have seen the enduring grace of Christ concerning the cross. He had to endure the knowledge of it; before creation and after creation, as the Second Person of the Trinity, until the time of His incarnation, when He endured the knowledge of it until the actual experience of it. The hallelujah of the resurrection is the joy set before Him for us. His rising from the dead and ascension into heaven opens the pathway to the salvation wrought on the cross. His second coming ends the enduring of the cross and brings us into the joy of the Lord.
This Easter let our hearts be truly thankful for His resurrection and during Lent, let our hearts be ever mindful of the suffering Jesus endured for us. I hope you have accepted Christ as Savior, for there is no other God as awesome as Him. He loves you deeply. If you are a Christian, follow the Lord’s example and endure to the end! Yes, Jesus endured the cross for us, Hosanna in the Highest!
© Guy Peter Calandra Author The Inside Word Available on Kindle-Nook-Google Playbooks
All verses of Scripture from NKJV— New King James Version— unless otherwise written
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