Jesus didn’t numb Himself.
Lemme back up.
Last week, I opened my Sunday school book and began to read the lesson about Christ’s death. The second verse went like this:
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.Matthew 27:34 (KJV)
From what I found thanks to Google, they basically gave Him wine with a drug in it; it was to dull the senses and numb the pain, making the agony of crucifixion a bit less severe.
But He wouldn’t drink it.
He felt it all to the fullest.
You’ve probably heard it said quite often that Jesus bore our sins on the cross; I know I have.
But have you considered–really considered–that He bore the feelings too?
All the guilt.
All the shame.
All the sting of rejection and mockery.
All the physical pain from being whipped and crucified (which is a lot of pain. Like, a lot. Seriously, the whipping itself was enough to kill a man. Then add in crucifixion, which the Romans had perfected as a method of torturous death. . . 😭💔).
All the exhaustion.
All the pain from being deserted, denied, doubted.
All the attacks from Satan, because I’m sure he was coming at Him with lies and taunts.
All the feeling abandoned and cursed by God.
All the sorrow from knowing how His loved ones were feeling–how they were grieving, questioning, fearing. . .
He felt it. He didn’t numb or distract Himself.
My family attended a Passion play/production on Good Friday. There are a couple of things I could talk about, and maybe someday I’ll post about them, but for now, I’m going to mention just the emotion of “Jesus.”
We watched him weep in the Garden, lifting trembling hands to his Father. We watched as the soldiers beat him, and we listened to his groans and screams. As they drove the nails in his hands, all we saw was darkness; the focus was on the sounds of the striking hammer and the cries. We saw him painfully pushing himself up to breathe, heard his gasping words.
And I don’t think even that quite depicts all the agony and emotions of Jesus.
Jesus drank the full cup of God’s wrath, drained the very dregs of death.
And oh, I could talk about His great love for us. I could talk about the way this should make us hate sin even more and desire to love and serve God even more. I could talk about how He understands us, understands all our feelings.
But what hit me and what made me cry–is making me cry now–is this:
Jesus didn’t numb Himself. He felt the full force of all those feelings.
He felt all the pain of the cross and death (and later felt all the joy of Resurrection and relationship with us).
So why do I numb myself? Why do I so often stuff my emotions down, ignore them, distract myself?
I am made in His image. I am His child. I am a follower of Christ. If He feels, then so should I.
Jesus is calling me out of the grave again, calling me to leave behind the graveclothes. Calling me to live, not just with Lazarus, but with Him.
So hello, Good Friday. Hello, silent Saturday. And hello, Resurrection Sunday.