What the Son Endured
"Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse."
The pain and humility Jesus physically suffered leading up to his death was a mere warm-up to the real dread he faced. As he hung on the cross, he began to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during those hours that his body was impaled, an earthly, foul odor must have wafted, not around his nose, but in his heart. He felt dirty. Human wickedness began to crawl upon his spotless being - the living excrement from our souls. The apple of the Father's eye began to turn brown with the rot of our sin.
From heaven, the Father roused himself like a lion disturbed, shook his mane, and must have roared against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of His hot breath. It was the wrath of God being poured our like hot oil on the wounded heart of the Son of Man. And the Father watched as his heart's treasure, the mirror-image of himself sank drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah's stored rage against humankind exploded in a single direction. The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved; the God-man from Nazareth, perished.
This is who asks you to trust him when he calls you to suffer. This is the One who asks you to obey him when it's hard, when your flesh is itching to have a little worldly candy. This is the One who asks you to honor him when you face tough choices. Jesus Christ bore the wrath of hell so that you might enjoy a home in heaven with him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Celebrate this marvelous gift as you reflect on Easter Sunday.
Father, thank you for giving me the gift of your Son. May my life be to the praise of Your glory!
From the devotional Pearls of Great Price, by Joni Eareckson Tada, April 2