"Man of Sorrows"
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
If we could have seen the cross, I doubt that love would have been the first thing to cross our minds. To see this man who has been betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, mocked, scorned…we probably would not have called that love, but instead maybe sorrow. We could call this man hanging on the cross - the object of torture, the bullseye of God’s wrath – we could call him a man of sorrows, but not love.
We couldn’t call it love until we understood something else; something so important that we’d be astounded to discover it, even confused to the point of embarrassment.
Imagine how this might go…you are standing there, looking at the cross, seeing Jesus suffer. You see the crown of thorns piercing into his head, the blood running down his face, the scars all over his body, the nails piercing through his hands and feet. You are looking at him in sorrow. How terrible you’d feel for him! That this man was betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, mocked, scorned, crucified, and then, almost out of nowhere, someone walks up to you and says, “Excuse me, but you should know that you were the one who was supposed to be on that cross.”
You must have misheard him, so confused, you reply, “Wait, what? What do you mean?”
The person comes back and says, “Yes, it’s true. You were the one who was guilty. You were the one who sinned, who turned your back on God and worshipped lesser things instead of Him. You were the one supposed to die and face the wrath of God.”
And at this moment, you are stunned. You lift your head and set your eyes again on the cross, on the man who hangs there dying. It’s then that you realize, he has been betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, mocked, scorned, crucified for me. For me? For me! He has done all this for me. That’s love – His amazing love.
Jesus has taken your place. He has suffered as your substitute. The wrath of God’s judgment that you deserved has been poured out on him. All of the weight, all of the shame, it all has been laid on him. The cross of sorrow is the cross of your salvation. Your debt is being paid, right here, right now, as you watch this man die. Your debt is being paid in full. You are being set free.
That’s why Jesus came to this earth. That is what Easter is all about. And because of this amazing love shown to us, it should cause us to cry out to Him and live our lives for His honor and His glory!
If you have never accepted this incredible gift of salvation, I would love to invite you to join us for our Easter service here at the church on Sunday, April 17th as we not only give thanks to Jesus for what He has done for us, but we celebrate the fact that He conquered death and defeated sin and is our Risen Lord and Savior!
For His Glory,
Pastor Doug Wagner