In my previous post, we covered the question of what constitutes Sin and why it’s so important. We’ve established that Sin is the intentional separation of the people from their Creator, through the violation of His Law, and that this only results in death.
In this post, we’re going to deal with what we are to do about this condition we’ve all inherited, along with what it cost Jesus to pay for us all. Plainly speaking, we have two choices: face God with the full weight of our Sin, or without it. It’s entirely up to us, no one else can make it for us. There are no other options, as refusing to make a choice is the same as choosing not to follow Him.
As I mentioned before, God created a system of Law which makes it impossible for any one human being to go their entire lives without committing a single, solitary sin. He did so in order that we would come to rely on Him. All he’s ever desired, above all else, is a real relationship with you, me and everyone else.
What He won’t do is force us into that relationship. One of the things He gave us is free will, so that we may make a willing and informed decision to submit to Him, or not. He desires willing submission, not grudging consent.
To that end, He sent His Son, in order to offer us all a rescue from that system. In order to facilitate that eternal relationship, He had to ensure that we’re all spotless, so He sent Jesus to take all of it from us. He also sent clues and hints, in the form of prophesy, to His people so that they would know what to look for.
Found throughout the Old Testament Scripture, the Messianic texts are a class of text which prophesy the coming of the Messiah, or the Anointed One. These texts describe everything about His coming, when He was to come, how He would die and even why.
Prophesies show that His purpose was to die for the Sin of all mankind. In Isaiah 53 (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), we find the Suffering Servant, who is described as “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5) in spite of the fact that He would be innocent and righteous. It also states that He would be despised and hated, that He would be seen as cursed by God, but that He would be vindicated in the end.
In Matthew 27:46, Jesus cries out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This is a direct reference to Pslam 22:1, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
Though no one really knows why He made the reference while on the Cross, it’s clear this was a prophesy of the Messiah’s crucifixion. For example, in Matthew 27:35, “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” This is a direct reference to Psalm 22:18.
I was once asked, “Where does it say that God will come as a human in my Tanakh?” The answer is, all over. Many of the Messianic texts show that the Messiah would die for the Sin of all mankind. This is no small thing, and there isn’t a human being in any time period who’s capable of doing this.
In fact, the only one who has the ability and authority to completely wipe out all of our Sin is God Himself. No one else can do it. That’s why I answer as I do, that it’s everywhere.
Getting back to the price that was paid, consider that the Messiah, God in the flesh, comes and is rejected by the people He came to save. They despise Him, revile Him, tell horrible lies about Him and even convince one of His closest friends to betray Him for the price of 30 pieces of silver. (see Zechariah 11:12-13)
In the end, He’s scourged, crucified and dies within hours of being placed on the Cross. What’s more is, His death in this manner is prophesied in Pslam 22 and mentioned in Zechariah 12.
In Pslam 22:16, “they pierced my hands and my feet.” Zechariah 12:10, “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced”. These are just two of the references to a form of death that was unknown at that time.
In Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, it’s mentioned that the Messiah would be cut off from the land of the living; that is to say, He would die. He would die for the sins of all mankind, so that humanity might be brought back into right relationship with their Creator.
All one has to do is accept the payment. Simply just accept that you’re a broken sinner, deserving of condemnation, and accept that He paid your price. Once you’ve accepted it, you’re spotless, righteous and redeemed before your Lord.
Now, for the cost. It begins in the garden of Gethsemane, the night that Jesus was arrested. In that moment, He is beginning to feel the intense emotional strain, so much so that He begins to experience a condition known as “hematidrosis”, also known as sweating blood.
This is mentioned in Luke 22:44, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” The human body has to be under an absolutely tremendous amount of emotional stress and anguish to experience this.
If you look back through the Gospel accounts, especially the Gospel according to Matthew, you’ll note than there were many points where Jesus alluded to His eventual arrest and execution. He even stated that it had to happen.
As the time drew near, there was an underlying process that had to happen. Jesus began to shed His divine nature, in order to be capable of dying. He had to willingly separate Himself from the godhead, and become completely human. Jesus, as God in the flesh, would have survived anything. Jesus, separated from the Father, wouldn’t have.
From there, He was dragged through the absolute worst death ever devised by human minds. He endured a death that was constant agony, with unending pain, misery and humiliation. This death was so horrid, it was considered unfit for conversation in polite company.
In conclusion, here is a video which gives Jesus’ death from the perspecrive of a trauma surgeon:
If you’ve ever wondered just how much He endured for our sake, here’s just a snapshot, because He also endured God’s wrath poured out for all of humanity’s Sin.