I recently read the New Testament book of Mark. With Easter tomorrow, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to chapters 14 to 16. I was astounded anew by all Jesus had to endure for you and me.
We have received victory through Jesus over all the onslaughts of the enemy. Jesus did not only give us the gift of salvation to live eternally with God. He gave us freedom, righteousness, authority, and victory over many emotional experiences aimed to make us feel unworthy or insignificant. Jesus experienced it all for you and me. Because of His own human experience, He is truly mindful of all we face and have to endure currently. He understands all hurtful emotions, pain, suffering, temptation, and challenges we might face.
Hebrews 4:15 AMP “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.”
Jesus knows real fear, distress, and anxiety. He was in anguish because of what He would have to endure. It did not make Him weak. It made Him human. He prayed twice for the situation to change. Do you not also hope that God will remove certain circumstances from your life? Jesus wanted that but also knew that His Father’s will and plan were above any request He had. The plan was the victory we would receive over fear because of the price He paid.
Mark 14:33-36 AMP “He took Peter and James and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled [extremely anguished at the prospect of what was to come]. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved and overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” After going a little farther, He fell to the ground [distressed by the weight of His spiritual burden] and began to pray that if it were possible [in the Father’s will], the hour [of suffering and death for the sins of mankind] might pass from Him. He was saying, “ Abba, Father! All things are possible for You; take this cup [of judgment] away from Me; but not what I will, but what You will.”
When you feel anxious, know that no one knows like Jesus how you feel and how it might be affecting your mind and body. His anxiety was so high that He was sweating blood. Talk about a severe physical reaction to the amount of stress He must have experienced!
Mark 14:39 AMP “He went away again and prayed, saying the same words.”
He prayed because He needed God. He knew that talking to God was the only way He would make it through. He knew that He needed the strength only God could give. When we go through anxiety and fearful times, we know we have a Saviour Who knows and cares and Who will carry us through.
He has so much compassion and understanding for what you might feel in those situations. And that is why He went to the cross to give you victory. When you feel anxious, know that nobody knows as Jesus knows. You are not alone. He will be with you giving you strength and grace to overcome all fear with His perfect love.
Jesus knows betrayal from a very close friend. Have you been betrayed by a family member, confidant, spouse, or close friend? Betrayal from those that are the closest, who know us the best and should have our best interests at heart, hurts the most. Jesus knows how that feels, my friends. He knows what it feels like when the enemy uses people close to us as pawns to hurt and disappoint us.
Judas was part of Jesus’ friends with whom He shared personal details and knowledge of Himself and His mission. Judas saw the miracles, saw His compassion, and saw the man behind the teacher of the crowds. They were friends for three years. Still, Judas betrayed Him, as Jesus knew from the start. Judas betrayed Jesus for selfish reasons and greed. He betrayed him blatantly with disrespect and the mockery of a kiss.
Mark 14:41b AMP … ”The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
Mark 14:45 AMP When Judas came, immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Rabbi (Master)!” and he kissed Him [forcefully].
Jesus endured it all and the cross so that you and I will know a Father Who is always faithful and trustworthy.
Jesus knows abandonment by those close to Him. Have you been abandoned by someone who promised to stick by you through thick and thin? A spouse, a parent, a family member, or a friend, perhaps?
When Jesus spoke to His disciples about the upcoming events, they were adamant to stay with him. Peter was especially vocal about his determination or intention to do so. When the time came, they were afraid and abandoned Him.
Mark 14:50 AMP “Then all of His disciples abandoned Him and fled.”
Jesus endured it all alone, without any support from family or friends. He endured arrests, accusations, beatings, insults, and the crucifixion without someone encouraging Him or holding His hand along the way.
He was also abandoned by the Father that moment before He died because He took all of our past, present, and future sins on Himself. Jesus knows complete and utter loneliness. Are you isolated? Are you alone, longing for company, a loved one, someone to share your life with, or someone to help carry your burdens?
Mark 15:34 AMP “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” —which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
Jesus will never abandon you. He endured it all and the cross to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father and draw us close to Himself. He is closer than a brother.
Jesus knows what it feels like to be an innocent victim. Are you perhaps experiencing issues of trust with people? Have people falsely accused you of something and tarnished your reputation? Have false accusations come from people in leadership or authority?
Mark 14:56-58 AMP “For many [people] were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimonies were not consistent. Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple (sanctuary) that was made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”
Mark 15:3 AMP “The chief priests began accusing Him of many things.”
People that did not even know Jesus was falsely accusing Him. The crowd was swept up by the negative reports and agreed with the rumors. Even those in high authority that should have been above reproach were accusing him of falsehoods. We know that the enemy is the father of lies. Jesus was the innocent Lamb slain for our sins. He never defended Himself but took every negative word on Himself for you and me.
Jesus endured it all and the cross so that we could know the Truth. We were set free from the lies of the enemy. Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
Jesus knows what it feels like when people are jealous or envious of you and tries to harm you because of that. When people are jealous or envious, they can become nasty in what they say or do towards us. Envy or jealousy usually leads to other sins and selfish actions.
Mark 15:10 AM “For he was aware that the chief priests had turned Jesus over to him because of envy and resentment.”
Envy was the reason why the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus crucified. Pilate realized that. The Jewish leaders were not able to accept the truth about the state of their hearts. They were hypocrites, unable to see their pride. They were jealous of Jesus’ popularity, following, and character.
Jesus endured it all and the cross to give us peace and unity within the body of Christ.
Jesus knows how it feels to experience excruciating physical and emotional pain. Are you experiencing physical or emotional abuse? Are you in pain due to illness, trauma, an accident, injury, or disability? Are you struggling to cope with strained relationships due to conflict, mockery, or bullying? Are you struggling with depression or low self-esteem?
Mark 14:65 AMP “And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy [by telling us who hit you]!” Then the officers took custody of Him and struck him in the face.”
Jesus was arrested, bound, and taken away violently as he stood before the different officials. People hit Jesus with their fists, whipped or scourged Him, and hit Him over His head. He had to wear a crown of thorns forced upon His head. They mocked Him, spit on Him, and called Him names.
Mark 15:15 AMP “So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, set Barabbas free for them; and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over [to his soldiers] to be crucified.”
Scourging regularly resulted in a prisoner’s death. The whip used was made of leather straps with sharp metal or bone fragments at the ends. These hooks would catch on the skin and flesh and tear the skin and flesh open. The extend of the wounds would frequently be so severe that a person’s intestines would fall out, and the prisoner would succumb to his injuries. The Bible does not say how many lashes Jesus received. He could have died from these injuries, but He persevered and had you and me in mind. He had to make it to the cross despite any fatal injuries, to die as prophesied and planned since the beginning, by His Father.
Mark 15:23 AMP “They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh [to dull the pain], but He would not take it.”
He did not even take the natural pain killer or narcotic offered to Him, because every impulse and level of pain was for you and me. He did not want to dull or numb the experience within his body or mind. He wanted to be consciously aware of you and me, the whole time.
Mark 15:17-19 AMP
“They dressed Him up in [a ranking Roman officer’s robe of] purple, and after twisting [together] a crown of thorns, they placed it on Him; and they began saluting and mocking Him: “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating Him on the head with a reed and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing in [mock] homage to Him.”
Mark 15:29-32 AMP “Those who were passing by were insulting Him with abusive and insolent language, wagging their heads [as a sign of contempt], and saying, “Ha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in [only] three days, save Yourself by coming down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were ridiculing and mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others [from death]; He cannot save Himself! Let the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe and trust [in Him]!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.”
Have you recently been the victim of insults, name-calling, or people not acknowledging your worth or effort? These days, people can send insulting messages, photos, voice notes, Facebook posts, etc. People hide behind digital platforms to say things because they do not have the guts to say them in person. It can become nasty. We see this so often with our children. Many are victims of cyberbullying. It is helpful to tell your bullied child that Jesus understands their situation and how they feel. He went to the cross for them. He has compassion for them, sees and knows their worth. He paid the ultimate price for them because they are priceless.
Even those people who went through the same experience as Jesus was insulting Him. They did not even show empathy.
Jesus has provided healing and victory over every hurtful word ever spoken towards you.
Why did Jesus have to endure all these experiences, apart from the gruesome crucifixion itself?
I believe it was for the following reasons:
1. To fulfill all the Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament. It assures us that God remains true to His Word. All the prophecies of Jesus are true. He will also keep all of His promises to you and me. God cannot and will never lie.
2. Because of His love and compassion for us, He endured it all for you and me. Jesus can attest to have experienced all difficulties we all experience today.
3. To demonstrate what it means to forgive others as Jesus did. He forgave every person who betrayed, abandoned, insulted, hurt, accused, denied, and crucified Him.
4. It might have appeared to onlookers that Jesus was at the mercy of his accusers. But, He was always in control. He was adhering to the will of His Father. He did not resist arrest. He did not defend Himself. He willingly went to the cross. Furthermore, He voluntarily gave up His life for you and me. He did not die because He gave up on living. He gave His life up out of choice as an offering for all our iniquities and sins. Everything happened on His terms. From the beginning, it was planned and prophesied in detail. God is in control of your life and circumstances as well, my friends.
Mark 15:37-39 AMP “But Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed out His last [voluntarily, sovereignly dismissing and releasing His spirit from His body in submission to His Father’s plan]. And the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He breathed His last [being fully in control], he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!
Mark 15:44-45 AMP
“Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time [only six hours after being crucified], and he summoned the centurion and asked him whether He was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion [that Jesus was in fact dead], he gave the body to Joseph [by granting him permission to remove it].”
It would usually take a couple of days for a person to die on the cross. Jesus died after only six hours. Again, He remained in control of it all. The whole event of Jesus’ crucifixion, therefore, occurred during the Passover time frame. He was the true Passover Lamb slain for our sins.
5. Jesus endured every physical beating, scourging, or lashing to provide physical and emotional healing for you and me. Every single stripe, lash, or wound was taken at will and endured for our healing. We are not healed by His stripe but by His stripes.
Isaiah 53:5 AMP “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.”
1 Peter 2:24 He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been healed.
6. Jesus endured it all so that nothing could be questioned or exempt from the fullness of what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection.
Hebrews 12:2 TPT “We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
Jesus had a great attitude that we can aspire to imitate. With everything He endured, He forgave, had compassion and love for all His accusers. He endured all the suffering to and on the cross to give us salvation, forgiveness, healing, freedom, redemption, authority, etc. Therefore, we must ask ourselves this question. How much more will He not keep on doing everything in His power and love to give us all we need still? He is always mindful of you and all you need, my friends.
Romans 8:32 ESV “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
May we remember all that Jesus endured for us this Easter. May we be more grateful for the price paid and what we gained because of Jesus’ suffering and the cross. Be ready to share The Gospel with others because this is the message of Jesus. Look to Jesus anew as you remember the Lamb. Follow His example of forgiveness. I pray that you will have a fresh resolve in your spirit to trust and follow Him, knowing that He is always mindful of you.
Stay resolute my friend.
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