On the cross our Lord sustained God’s wrath against sin; on the tree, He “was made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13); in those hours of Calvary’s darkness, the Christ of God was forsaken (Mt. 27:46). Hear the words of Scripture: “Thy wrath lieth hard upon Me, and Thou hast afflicted Me with all Thy waves” (Ps. 88:7). “Thy fierce wrath goeth over Me; Thy terrors have cut Me off” (Ps. 88:16). “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger. From above hath He sent fire into My bones and it prevaileth against them” (Lam. 1:12-13).
This is what death meant to the Lord Jesus Christ: made a curse; visited with the wrath of God against sin; in darkness, forsaken, and alone, He died for us. As another has said, “Utterly solitary He died that none of us might have to face death alone.” Or as we often sing,
“Crowned with thorns upon the tree;
Silent in Thine agony;
Dying crushed beneath the load,
Of the wrath and curse of God.”
This was the heart-breaking anguish of His death. God left Him alone in the hour of His deepest suffering. Never in his day had David seen the righteous forsaken. The sorrowing One of Psalm 22 pleaded, “Our fathers trusted in Thee: they trusted and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee and were delivered: they trusted in Thee and were not confounded. But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people” (Ps. 22:4-6). The One who was the most faithful and the most beloved was the first to know the bitter sorrow of being left alone by God in the hour of His deep distress.
The honor of Christ’s Person gave infinite value to His sufferings. The pain of His obedience made the preciousness of that loving surrender to the will of God of supremely greater worth and richer fragrance. When He who became a servant, of His own unfettered will showed His love and submission to God’s word and at such tremendous cost to Himself as He did at Calvary, how gloriously precious it was! The death of God’s saints had always been precious in His sight (Ps. 116:15), but never had there been a death that so filled the heart of God with unspeakable satisfaction as the death of Him who hung in blood and shame on the cross at Golgotha.
To read more about Christ’s Death, you can find a list of books featured here.
Excerpt from A Plant of Renown