Summary: An honest attempt to understand the uncommon agony of Calvary’s cruel cross.
UNCOMMON PASSION, UNCOMMON AGONY
by Pastor Ritchie L. Ables
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable
unto his death;
When Paul uttered these words to the Philippian church, I have to wonder -
did he truly understand what he was saying or was this one of those feel
good statements such as, “I could whip a thousand devils tonight”, for I
truly wonder if anyone can has ever or will ever be able to comprehend what
Christ truly suffered for this old world?!
Church, it just isn’t common for one to love such wicked, contemptible
people with such passion...
Romans 5:6 - 7 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ
died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet
peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us.
Romans 3:10 - 18 (RED RIBBON)
Church, I will never understand or comprehend how God could love such a
group of people enough to allow his only son, an innocent little lamb, to be
mocked, ridiculed, and condemned to the cruel death of Calvary.
John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me
from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
We just cannot begin to comprehend the agony in the heart of Jesus when he
spoke these words...
Isaiah 53:2 - 12 (WHITE RIBBON)
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that
plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
The beat him, they whipped him, they slapped him, they spit on him, they
stripped him of his dignity, they trampled on his honor... but he spoke not a
word in his defence.
John 19:10 - 11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me?
knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to
release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against
me, except it were given thee from above:
On the cross, filled with pain, Christ even rejected the medicinal gall &
vinegar which was to help numb the pain.
This is all unquestionably full of anguish but this still isn’t the uncommon
agony of Christ’s fellowship of sufferings.
Mark 15:33 - 34 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness
over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried
with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being
interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
For three hours of darkness, the Father hid himself from his son in the midst
of a darkness unlike any other that had ever filled the land - that he might
not have to hide himself from sinners. Oh the lonliness that Jesus felt, Oh
the suffering of being separated from his only true friend, his Father...
Still, this isn’t the greatest agony of Calvary!
WHAT IS THE UNCOMMON AGONY OF CALVARY?
I firmly believe that it is found in the following scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I truly believe that this is what made the fellowship of his sufferings so
bitter... it was truly a bitter cup because he who never knew sin drank the
sins of the world.
For every sin that had ever been committed, Christ hang on that cruel
cross... suffering and despising the shame. For the adulterer, the fornicator,
the idolater, the homosexual, the child molestor, the prostitute, the
murderer, the liar, the drunkard, the drug addict, the thief... the slanderer,
the backbiter, the tale-bearer, and the whisperers...
In closing, let me give you this to ponder...
Exodus 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die,
there shall no blood be shed for him.
If it had been left up to men, no provisions were made for a thief under the
law to show pardon in any way. However, Christ turned to a thief beside
him on the cross and basicly said, “This blood’s for you too, today you shall
be where I am in paradise”. Only the Son of God could show
“UNCOMMON PASSION” and suffer “UNCOMMON AGONY.”
Altar Song - “Had It Not Been” as performed by Michael English