This is one of three significant things Christ did amidst the most intense suffering on our behalf. I read an excerpt from Bible Study Fellowship notes that well describes the condition of Christ’s body.
The strained position of the body eventual caused suffocation. Each movement to breathe was almost unbearable. Every bone was out of joint; all ligaments and muscles stretched; blood flow to the heart and lungs was acutely restricted. Dehydration produced intolerable fever and thirst. Stinging insects irritated the bleeding wounds. Hand and feet bruised and torn by the nails, his back raw from scourging, Jesus could not adjust His body. Only His head was free.”
I’m so in awe with this concept; this painted image of Christ experiencing torture that I really can’t begin to imagine, while looking down at His mother with instructions for the disciple whom He loved, to care for her. From His position of torture, He has enough clarity of mind to care for His mother. It overwhelms me. . .
I think of times in my life when I’ve been in extreme (for me) pain and how hard it is to get beyond that and care for another. Only the grace of God makes it possible.
Before He made the effort on behalf of His beloved mother, our Lord also made the effort to pray for forgiveness for those who continued His torture by crucifixion. He prayed for those who were hanging Him and taunting Him WHILE He experienced their torture. . .
Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Can we even begin to grasp the magnitude of this?! Forgive them? And I am among those who drove those nails. And He prayed that on behalf of me.
It didn’t end there. He made a promise to the criminal hanging next Him saying,
I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
His pain is overwhelming, every part of His body is in agony, not to mention His spirit. In addition those in the crowd are taunting His already agonized spirit. And I’m reminded that every time I sin, it grieves His spirit. And that is hard to grasp.
Our Lord was, is and always will be looking out for us. These situations absolutely amaze me. But I need to remember, as He points out so many times, the need to remember. To remember scripture, to remember His truths, His track record in the lives of Bible personalities, in the lives of His disciples, in our own lives, and the lives of those who have pointed us to His faithfulness.
I can understand how well grounded women/people have felt the importance of spending time in God’s word first thing in the morning. It becomes so easy to let life’s dailyness and various tasks fill our minds with things that can inadvertently distract our well meaning hearts from joy.
It doesn’t take much. . . a little distraction here, a little distraction there and before we know it, our awe of our saviour and our trust in Him slowly diminishes. It’s no wonder we are compared to sheep.
Praying my awe and faith be guarded during the demands of life.