"Then He bowed His head, and delivered over His spirit." —John 19:30
Although most people think of Jesus hanging on the cross for three hours, He actually hung on the cross for about six hours (see Mk 15:25, 33). He suffered much more than we realize and can even imagine. Jesus could well quote from Lamentations: "Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like My suffering" (Lam 1:12). As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus was beaten so badly that His appearance was marred "beyond that of mortals" (Is 52:14). Pontius Pilate had Jesus violently scourged in order to shock the crowd into stopping their demands for His crucifixion (see Jn 19:4-5). Nevertheless, the crowd wanted Jesus to shed even more of His blood (see Mt 27:25). So the lacerated and bruised piece of flesh named Jesus was brutalized to an even greater degree as He carried the cross, was crucified, and died. Jesus' condition at the end was such that very few could stand to see Him up close (see Is 53:3). No one will ever know more than a small part of what Jesus suffered.
Jesus did not have to suffer these worst of all sufferings (see Jn 10:18). He knew what would happen to Him, and He had the power to prevent it at any time (see Mt 26:53). Jesus was not a victim of circumstances; He was a Victim of love. Jesus freely decided to suffer unimaginable pain out of love for you!
Prayer: Jesus, You gave Your life for me; I give my life for You—completely and forever.
Promise: "Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:8-9
Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995
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