The Cost of Redemption
The other night at church, we watched a movie depicting the crucifixion of Christ. I had seen the movie before, but it had been a while. I had forgotten how realistic is was and how difficult it was to watch. From the garden scene where Jesus, overwhelmed with the grief of the road ahead of Him, agonized in prayer to the last painful moments of the crucifixion, it was almost more than I could bear…
As the film began, Jesus, in the garden, prayed. Sweat dripped from His face and hair, His voice and facial expressions a mirror of His internal agony as He pleaded with the Father that if it was possible, let this cup be taken from Him. My heart ached so deeply for His anguish…of course He would have been in anguish! How could I have forgotten how painful this must have been for Him.
All of the Gospels communicate this—the utter distress Jesus was in. Luke chapter 22 specifically records: “’Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:42-44 In Mark 14, Jesus tells Peter, James and John that His sorrow is so great that it is even unto death.
There were so many moments in the film where I could barely contain myself. It was all I could do to not just curl up and weep as the guards beat Jesus. With every blow and every groan coming from my Savior’s lungs, the tears streamed until I wanted to yell at the screen, “Leave Him alone!! Don’t you see! He cannot take anymore!” “He did nothing wrong!”
But, true to the account, they did not stop. Scripture began to flood my mind and bathe my soul. Each hit triggered the words, “But He was wounded for our transgressions…” Each strike, “He was bruised for our iniquities…” Isaiah 53:5 Again and again and again, it circulated in my mind and it pierced me to the core, until I longed to cry, “Don’t do it! No, Jesus! Don’t do it for me. I don’t deserve it!”
It was then the Holy Spirit reminded me of John 13 where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and Peter resisted. Jesus told him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” And all I could do at that point was accept that He DID do this for me; if I want any part of Him, I must accept this.
Conceptually, I understood all of this before, somehow this particular night as I listened (no longer able to watch) it captured my soul. Each blow, each groan was because of me—MY sin, MY transgressions, MY iniquities…and I felt so deeply the agony of my own sin.
Today, if like me…you have forgotten the road to your redemption and what it cost, please go back and read…Isaiah 53 and the crucifixion in all of the Gospels…let it undo you like it did me. Remember what Jesus did; let it be fresh in your soul and let it drive you to tell others about what He has done for them, too.
FBC Aztec Member