In my morning devotions today, something struck me. Jesus didn’t just die for our sins–he suffered for them. It wasn’t a quick execution where you’re fine one second and dead the next. He suffered on the cross for hours.
I put myself in His shoes and imagined the soldiers hammering nails into my hands and feet. I imagined what it must have felt like: pain greater than I’ve ever experienced. He had to hang there on the cross–his hands throbbing, back stinging, head dripping with blood–and muster up the strength to just breathe. He had lived a perfect life, yet there he was dying a criminal’s death.
When I think of the crucifixion, I normally think, “Oh, yeah, He died on the cross to save us.” But I should really think, “Jesus took MY place on the cross and suffered for MY sins–all because He loved ME.” He loved ME, a terrible sinner who can’t do anything right.
When I think about it that way, it becomes much more real to me. I can’t even imagine how much pain He was in. Just the thought that He had the power to save Himself at any time–but chose not to–makes me see it in a whole new way. The crucifixion isn’t just a story. It was a real-life event, and when you view it as such, you appreciate God’s sacrifice so much more.