From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is it true that Jesus suffered more than any other person did? – S.J.
A: No one ever experienced greater spiritual suffering than Jesus did. The wheel of humiliation and death would squeeze Jesus to the point of great agony. His death was a spiritual battle against the powers of darkness, and His resurrection meant the triumph of God over Satan. No mere man could defeat Satan. Only Jesus. And He did it for us. Jesus’ agony was endured because of His great love for mankind.
The garden of Gethsemane is the place where Jesus’ humanity was revealed. There He faced the choice between obedience and disobedience. He was not a robot programmed to obey God automatically. He knows what it’s like to be tempted. And, after three years of selfless giving, Jesus was never more vulnerable to temptation than at this moment in the garden.
It’s one thing to die for a cause; it’s quite another to die for an entire world – for all the accumulated sins of generations past and generations to come. Sin had to be punished. If God were simply to forgive our sins without judging them, then there would be no justice, no accountability for wrongdoing; God would not be truly holy and just. The cross was the only way to resolve the problem of sin. Martyrs are killed because of beliefs they stand on even in the face of death. Christ faced death to bring us to belief in Him. He was wounded for our transgressions, and by them we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). And He did it willingly.
There’s a wonderful song often heard at Easter: “O what a Savior, O hallelujah, His heart was broken on Calvary. His hands were nail scarred, His side was riven, He gave His life-blood for even me.” Look to Jesus for life eternal.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.(c)2022 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.