Thursday, May 24, 2012 | By: Micah Orendain

Jesus' Horror: The Worst Agony

n. pl. ag·o·nies
1. The suffering of intense physical or mental pain.
2. The struggle that precedes death.
3. A sudden or intense emotion
4. A violent, intense struggle.

Jesus praying to the Father at Gethsemane 

            In Matthew chapter 26, we can read what happened to Jesus on the garden of Gethsamane, where  the prophecies, the reason of redemption, are about to be fulfilled. We can read Jesus' extreme trouble and agony in the verses:

            "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." - Matthew 26:38/Mark 14:34 (NIV) (Other translations: "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow", "My souls is crushed with grief", "My heart is opressed with anguish")

            "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." - Luke 22:44

            The mental and emotional stress that Jesus underwent in the garden was so intense that his blood vessels ruptured, and he literally sweat blood. This very rare medical condition is known as hematidrosis.

Amazingly, our Savior, our Prince who was about to be slain like a lamb (or worse than a lamb) didn't back out. Instead, He prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (v.42)

            The “cup” refers to God’s holy, angry judgment upon sin. It was our sin which was laid on Him.

            That judgment is too awful for us to describe. But it was even more awful for our blessed Savior. There were at least three main elements mixed into that cup which caused Him such intense suffering.

1. His great horror of sin.
            He was the spotless Holy One (Hebrew 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19)
            He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21)
            In him was no sin (1 John 3:5)
            He did no sin (1 Peter 2:22)
            Yet he was about to be “made sin” for us.
            His holy soul shrank from that. Think of how good you feel when you are bathed and clean and have your best new clothes on. Then think of someone throwing you into the sewage ditch to drown there. That is only a very, very faint picture of the awful horror Jesus felt against sin.

2. He was to experience the curse of our sin, Galatians 3:13.
            Sweat was one result of the curse, Genesis 3:19. He, the Blessed One, was to be made a curse for us. As He peered through the dark night toward His holy Father He knew He was going to be abandoned. That was the sharpest thorn of the curse – no answer from God, chapter 27:46.

3. He was being attacked by Satan and all his demons. In Luke 22:53 He saw Satan and the powers of darkness were coming against Him. Also see John 14:30. We can never understand how they attacked and tormented His holy soul that night.

The Official Sentence (Read Matthew 27:11-26)

            Barrabbas was freed and Jesus was condemned. So there was a great exchange made that day. A guilty sinner was set free and an Innocent Savior was put to death in place of the guilty one (and all of us guilty ones). What love He showed!

            But before Pilate handed Jesus over to die he ordered that He be whipped. We must not pass over this quickly – it was a terrible suffering Jesus endured. We would only quote a brief description by an old writer (Krummacher):

            “Look at yonder pillar, black with blood of murderers and rebels. The iron collar which is attached to it, as well as the ropes which hang down from its iron rings…Look at the rude and barbarous beings…who busily surround their victim. Observe the instruments of torture in their hands. They are scourges, made of hundreds of leather thongs each armed at the point with a bony hook or sharp-sided cube… The executioners fall on the Holy One like a host of devils. they tear off His clothes, bind those hands which were ever stretched out to do good, tie them together behind His back, press His gracious face firmly against the shameful pillar. After having tied Him with ropes in such a manner that He cannot move or stir, they begin their cruel task… I could not count  to you the number of strokes now poured on His sacred body, nor describe the torments increasing with every stroke. In some cases they caused the death of the unhappy victim! It is enough for us to know it lasted fully a quarter of an hour. Streams of blood flow from His sacred form, yet the scourger that does not hurt with nameless pain and smart. But such is the intention. The scourges cut ever deeper into the wounds already made and penetrate almost to the bones. His whole back appears an enormous wound.”
            It is not a wonder that this whipping-scourging was called the Halfway Death. All this fulfilled other Old Testament prophecies – see Psalm 129:3, Isaiah 50:6. Oh how he suffered! Oh how he loved you and me!


            “Himself He could not save, He on the cross must die;
            Or mercy could not come to ruined sinners nigh.
            Yes, Christ the Son of God must bleed.
            That sinners’ night from sin be freed.”

“To Calvary’s hill, one day, the Lord was led away
None else the price could pay for all my sin.
It was His love for me that nailed Him to the tree.
To die in agony for all my sin
Was ever love so strong? Was ever crime so wrong?
When Jesus suffered long for all my sin.
Oh, what a Savior is mine!
In Him God’s mercies combine,
His love can never define – and He loves me!”
- Clayton

“Measured by that cross, that darkness,
O how deep God’s love must be;
Deep as were Christ’s depths of anguish,
            Is the Father’s love for me!”

“Jesus redeemed us and died in our stead;
In him we died and rose from the dead.
No longer is death a thing that we dread.
The old is behind us, the new is ahead."
- D. De Haan, Our Daily Bread

"Love sent the Savior to die in my stead.
Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary's cross He was lead,
Why should He love me so?"
- Harkness, Our Daily Bread

Most part is from the book of R.H. Sykes, "Matthew:Presenting Jesus the King". Photos from Passion of the Christ movie, via Google.


The Book Blogger said...

So true. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice!
Blessings, Micah, and keep up the great posts:)

Micah Orendain said...

Thank you @The Book Blogger. Truly He loves us. All glory to Jesus!

InternetPositive said...

Keep spread love to the world and keep avoid bad attitudes!

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