Anguish

<<agony>>

Just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus, in anguish of spirit, prayed earnestly and His "sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk 22:44). This is a rare but real medical condition that when under extreme anguish the sweat contains blood. Christ knew "all that was going to happen to Him" (Jn 18:4). He was to be betrayed and forsaken by His own followers, mercilessly flogged and then crucified, which was considered the most painful and excruciating method of execution ever devised. As He bore the sin of the whole world on the cross, Jesus cried out intense agony, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46). God didn't turn His face from Jesus, just like He didn't with Adam and Eve after they sinned but went searching for them (Gen 3:9). Ever since sin first entered the world, God is always reaching out to us fallen humanity, desiring the relationship be re-established. It is the guilty sinner who can't bear to look on the holiness of God or be in His presence (Gen 3:8). From the perspective of Jesus on the cross, it seemed God had abandoned Him to sin as a separation came between them that had never existed before. In His humanity, Jesus felt like He had been abandoned, and this greatly exceeded the intense physical pain He endured on our behalf.  Though sin cannot damage or pollute God in any way, sin does cause a barrier between Himself whose "eyes are too pure to look on evil" and the sinner, yet this is remedied by our repenting and the walking in His ways (Deut 8:6; Ps 128:1; Isa 59:1,2; Hab 1:13; Jn 9:31; 1 Jn 1:9). God will not remove His love or presence from us (Rom 8:38,39; Heb 13:5). Not wanting humanity to suffer eternal separation from God in a lost eternity caused Jesus to follow through on the plan of salvation — at a great price — "to bring us to God" (1 Pet 3:18). We are the ones responsible for the blood that dripped from our Saviour as He cried out in extreme anguish. Why not express you heartfelt thanks to Him now?

Paul who had a deep love for the new believers said he was in anguish until they came into maturity in Christ (2 Cor 2:4; Gal 4:19). Do I have a deep concern to see the lost come to Christ and then become strong in Him? How am I outworking this? Those who refuse the offer of salvation and live without Christ will experience pain and eternal suffering in the lake of fire (Mt 13:49,50; Rom 2:6-8; Rev 21:8). This should motivate us to be actively involved in sharing the good news with the unsaved.

See also: abandoned, crucifixion, eternal damnation, pain, suffering.

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