The word anguish, when used as a noun means “severe mental or physical pain or suffering”. When used as a verb, it means “be extremely distressed about something”.
Think about the word. Think about it’s meaning.
Now, consider the story that you already know again.
The story of your salvation
It was in anguish that Christ saved us.
It wasn’t in the midst of a beautiful meadow blossoming with beautiful flowers. It wasn’t with him standing on a stage, making a declaration and receiving roaring applause. It wasn’t at the height of a long prestigious career, after having received numerous awards and medals. It wasn’t done with laughter and the joyful accolades of encouraging men and women, boys, and girls.
It was done in anguish. It was agonizing, painful, brutal, torturous, and downright gruesome.
He, Jesus Christ, the sinless one, gave himself up to die, that we might be saved, in total and complete anguish.
He told the truth; that He is the son of God, and for that truth, He was arrested, condemned, beaten, mocked, and crucified.
Before these events took place, Matthew 26: 36-46 says:
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
As we enter into the week of the passion of Christ, it is extremely important that we remember all of the pain, all of the torture, and the absolute anguish, that he had to undergo.
It is important that we remember His state when His soul was deeply troubled.
It is important that we remember how He had to go to the Father in prayer to receive strength for that which He was about to undergo for our sakes.
It is important that we remember every crack of the whip that split the flesh on His back.
It is important that we remember the prick of every thorn that pierced his head from the crown of thorns that was pressed on his head.
It is important to remember that he felt every ounce of weight from that cross that was placed on the bruised shoulder of His already weakened body. The cross that his weakened body had to carry & support. In the midst of the whip and yells from the soldiers, the shouting from the crowd.
It is important that we remember that He felt the pain when the hammered a square peg through his palms and feet as they nailed Him to that cross, and it was from those nails that He was suspended on that cross.
It is important that we remember that He hung there, suspended, I’m pain, in agony, it anguish, while He cried out to the Father, until He eventually gave up the ghost.
Why is it important to remember all of these details?
Because it is so easy to forget. It’s one thing to remember that He died for our sins. It’s another thing entirely to remember the manner in which He died for our sins.
Because we humans have a high intolerance for pain. We frown at discomfort, and shriek at suffering.
We beg and cry to God to ease our pain when we suffer for ourselves, not to mention the thought of suffering on behalf of another.
For most of us it’s unthinkable.
We forget, however that it was in someone else’s suffering that we were saved.
It was through someone else’s death that we are now able to live.
So, when we go through life, and painful moments present themselves, let us not act as if God has not equipped us to endure. Because He has.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24 )
Because remembering the details should cause us to pause and reflect on the love of God. What would cause Him to allow His son to suffer in such a way?
His love for the one who He created in His own image.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
We often pray that Christ’s death on the cross not be vain in our lives. Whenever we pray this prayer, we also need to envision His anguish, and ask that it too, not be for naught.
So, when we start to moan and cry that we have not warranted the suffering that we happen to go through at any time, let us in that moment, trust God, just as Christ trusted Him in that very dark and grueling hour. Then, let us remember Christ, and that it was in anguish; in suffering, that Jesus gave us what we are truly not deserving of. The gift of everlasting life.
May the gift of His death, and the glorious rewards of His resurrection, be our inheritance. Now, and forevermore. Amen.
Share your thoughts that you might encourage your brethren.
The handmaid at His feet.