What's the Big Deal?

He was the delight of his Father. Their joy was complete when they were together. They needed nothing else. Unity of spirit, unity of desire, unity in every way. It was their very existence. They laughed together, planned together, rejoiced together in delight at their creation. They had always done everything as One and would continue to do so.

Except Friday was coming.

We often overlook what that Friday really meant to God. We read of Jesus' agonized cry in the Garden of Gethsemane and cringe at the physical torture he faced. Sure, he was grieved. Who wouldn't be? And in our human attempt to understand, we miss the real point.

We can only fathom the physical realities of the beatings and crucifixion. They were gruesome enough, but not the real pain. To comprehend the real tragedy of those 9 hours we have to get inside the mind of God and gaze for a moment upon total unity. 

We don't understand unity. Marriage is the best picture God could paint for us and we have made a mockery of that.

But the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit know. It's all they'd known. Jesus knew what was coming and experienced a dread so great it almost killed him beforehand. To be separated, despised, scorned by his Father. It was unthinkable.

But in those hours, Jesus became SIN. The sin he had never touched now defiled him in every way. As he was hoisted into the hair to hang as a public disgrace, the heaviness of every sin human beings had ever embraced pressed upon him.

And he had to endure his Father's disgust. "How could you! You lied! You stole! You adulterer! I'm horrified by you. You deserve this just punishment.'

The thunder of Righteousness Offended echoed through the soul of the Son with a vibration that would have shaken him off the cross had the spikes been weaker.

"You disgust me! How could you rape little babies? You've cannibalized human flesh! You've molested old women, tortured pets, and ignored your children! You are covered with the stench of immorality, arrogance, and lust! I cannot stand this! I will not look at you any longer!"

He took not only our evil acts, he also took our grief. Our regret. Our sorrow. The One who had never known remorse now felt the full force of our guilt in his heart. The shame of the 16-year old after losing her virginity. The regret of the 22-year-old mom after the abortion. The grief of the drunk driver who has just killed a family of 3. The embarassment over the drunken party. The remorse at hiding those porn videos. As his body bore the weight of our sin, his soul bore the weight of our guilt.

And the source of Living Water cried out, "I thirst!" It was not wine he wanted, nor water. His soul, as David's once did,  thirsted for the Living God. A thirst he had never experienced before.

"Your evil requires that I withdraw my presence. You are the very embodiment of all I hate. I cannot tolerate you in this condition. I am leaving you. This is what it feels like to be without Me. This is the punishment your sin deserves."

The sky grew dark as the Light withdrew.  But it was a darkness the Son had never known and he cried out, as a child cries out in terror: "Father! Abba! Don't leave me! Why? Why are you forsaking me?"

In those hours on the cross, Jesus gave us a clear picture of what Hell is like. Hell is feeling the full weight of our sin and guilt with no comforting presence of the Father. No relief. No hope. No end.

God displayed Hell for all the world to see so that no one has an excuse.

Until we comprehend what our sin cost God, we will continue to abuse his grace. We wrinkle our noses at our self-will and pride and we shrug. "What's the big deal? God will forgive me."

Take another long look at what happened during 9 hours one Friday. Can you see your sin on him? Is that your little white lie tucked in his matted hair? Is that your lust pressing down on his shoulder? Your dishonesty clutched in his palm? 

Take a good look at what sin costs God.
Where do you plan to tuck your next one?


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