What went through His mind? What could He possibly be thinking as His creation killed Him? He was beaten with fists, flayed with whips, pieced with thorns, and hammered through with nails. And yet the pain of his physical agony could not compare to the heartache of having His creation reject Him in such a flagrant way. The blood of Christ dripped off His face and poured freely from the wounds on His back and shoulders. The misery of enduring such an ultimate beating was surely horrible. Yet Jesus was conscience through it all; He never passed out. I wonder what was going through His mind. What could He have been thinking? Do you think Jesus have spent that time thinking about the many songs and poems dedicated to His crucifixion, or the many Easter Sundays centered with Easter eggs and chocolates and bunnies?
Or do you think He thought of you and me? Could He have thought about each and every individual human that would ever be born? As liters of precious blood flowed from His shredded and mangled body, is it possible He thought nothing of the pain and everything about the rewards that would come from His sacrificial death? Could He have thought of the joyous moments that He would have for the first time with His creation? He must have thought of the ecstasy He would experience with His children once He could live in them. His thoughts must have revolved solely around you, and me.
I mean, here's the God of the universe, dying on a cross! This God created the world, created all life and the sun and stars and the millions of other galaxies; the God who breathes stars and knows them by name. And when man needed Him most, after over 400 years of silence, He came. The great I AM came in human form, in our nature, the form He created in His own image! We didn't deserve it; we don't now and never will deserve it. But that didn't stop Him from exchanging His life for ours. How is it that I AM, the perfect God, the God of love, of justice, of holiness, of righteousness. And He died. For us.
But He didn't just die. He was beaten to a pulp. His back was flayed by whips. His head was pierced by long, sharp thorns. And long, rusty nails were driven into his hands and feet. Can you hear it? The ominous thump... thump.... thump... of nails driving home through the Creator's hands and feet. The first thump followed by a piercing scream- the scream by the man on the cross- the other thumps followed by strained moaning and weeping. But that wasn't the worst. The worst is after they planted the cross into the ground, gravity caused Jesus to either suffer from suffocation or by standing on a nail, a nail that was pierced through his feet. Can you imagine using the raw, swollen, bleeding flesh to stand on a skinny nail? The only other option was to release the leg muscles, which caused immense pressure on both the hands and also the lungs. So one way, you were driven nearly unconscious by pain in your feet; the other way, the nails were ripping through your hands and you could not breathe.
And yet, this is precisely the way Jesus chose to die. He chose this for us. He chose it because it was the only way for Him to have an initmate relationship with us. He chose that death because He chose life with us. Perhaps the joy, ecstasy, and pleasure He knew He would have with us greatly outweighs the price of the most brutal death in history. Doesn't that make you feel special?
(This post was previously written and posted on 10/6/10, but has been edited, extended, and revised by me for this special Easter Sunday)