Why Did Jesus Suffer?

The amount of our sin did not affect the degree of Jesus suffering. It was God’s plan, not our plan that caused Jesus to suffer. God did not have Jesus suffer so we would feel guilty about our sin, nor did he suffer so we would be proud of how sinful we were. In the very beginning, God planned for Jesus to suffer so we would not have to suffer. In fact, that was the very reason that Jesus came to earth. God caused Jesus to suffer so we could see how much God loved us, not to show how much we sinned.

 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:10-12(NIV)

Jesus wanted to follow the human way when he went to Gethsemane to pray. He did not want to suffer for our sin so he asked God to take the cup of suffering from him. And three times he prayed that it not be his will, but God’s will be done. (Matthew 26:39, 42, 43) Three times Jesus surrendered His will to His Father’s will.

Jesus also told his disciples that the spirit was strong but his flesh was weak. The human nature that Jesus was given, wanted him to forgo the suffering.

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Matthew 26:36-46(NIV)

God made Jesus suffer so we would not have to suffer for our sin. Jesus became the blood sacrifice that satisfied our sin debt.

As we think about Jesus death and resurrection, let us not get caught up in the suffering of Jesus. Do not dwell on our past sins, God does not remember them anymore so why should we?  Rather, let us think about God’s great love for us. Let us think about the victory that Jesus won when he became victorious over death.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me,  from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34(NIV)

God loved us so much that he provided a way for us to overcome the damage that Adam and Eve caused when they ate the forbidden fruit. Through Jesus death and resurrection, the penalty for our sin was paid in full, we have been adopted into God’s family, and we can enjoy a restored relationship with God.

Have a happy Easter, basking in God’s love and the freedom we have in Christ Jesus!

NOTE: All scripture used in this blog was downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com, March 28, 2015