Have you ever thought how Jesus could keep going? Crucifixion itself is one of the most horrific forms of torture man has ever created―it’s a slow, agonizing drowning … suspended naked, humiliated by gawkers … wanting death to come, but having just enough reflex left in your body that you keep gulping air. But before this ever happened to Jesus, He was beaten, sleep deprived, food deprived, spit upon, mocked, and had his back mercilessly ripped open.
What makes this even more amazing to me is that He knew it was coming!
What was His attitude toward all this? Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross (Hebrews 12:2).
How could Jesus go through such unspeakable hell with joy? Because He knew the aftermath! He knew He was paying for our sins, healing our disease, rescuing us from death, and purchasing eternal life for you and me.
When we are going through a difficult time, we might find a reason to hold on because someone else who has gone through it before us says to us, “Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. I made it through, and you can too!”
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must take up his cross and follow Me.” We can only carry our crosses because He carried His first―He carried our cross first and won! He went through hell, kept going for the joy set before Him, and now He is the Victor!! He’s been there, done that, and still has the scars to prove it!
You cannot go through hell on your own. But you can put your faith in the One Who defeated Hell and Death itself! With your faith in what Christ’s scars purchased for us, you can say with the psalmist―
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint me with You joy. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all of the days of my life, and I will dwell in Your presence forever! (Psalm 23)