“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9)
Six Hours That Changed The World
This morning we prepare ourselves to worship Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago He prepared Himself to worship His Father.
We are in the comfort of our homes. Jesus was agonizing in grief in a garden.
We enjoy a breakfast meal. Jesus will forgo eating.
Our day is planned with joy. His day is planned for horror.
We had a nights rest. He would have a restless sleep on Wednesday and find no sleep before death on Friday.
No one will betray us today. Judas betrayed Jesus.
No one will come to arrest us. Jesus was bound with chains and dragged away.
We will assemble with people who care about us. A huge mob will descend on Jesus to kill him.
We will sit for an hour in the comfort of a building. Jesus will be dragged from place to place in mock courts of shame.
We will fret about the sermon going to long. Jesus will be beaten, spit on, slapped, scorned, humiliated, taunted and mocked.
Our day is filled with naps, watching a movie or shopping. Roman soldiers will tie Jesus to a post and beat him with a whip shredding His back in ribbons of bleeding flesh.
We will decide not to attend an evening service this day. Jesus will be nailed to a cross.
Our day will quickly be over with an hour of church this morning and maybe an hour of church tonight. Plans will fill our minds as we think of what we want to do this week. Children will laugh, couples will enjoy a meal together, recreation will fill the hours of our day and life will be remembered as good.
Jesus will suffer for six hours on the cross. His body will writhe in agony for six hours. The back scourged earlier will scrape against the blood covered cross for six hours. He will cry out to His Father. He show love to His mother. His forgiveness will be uttered to the rabble below Him. He will endure a burning thirst. A fellow prisoner will receive grace. His mission will be finished. He will die.
Six hours. The world was created in six days. Jesus suffered for six hours to redeem the world from sin. God rested on the seventh day. Jesus rested in the seventh hour. His work was finished. Thank God for those horrible six hours that Jesus suffered for me. As I worship may I never forget the final six hours of the life of Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord.
In the Cross and Him who hung upon it, all things meet; all things subserve it, all things need it, it is their center and interpretation. For He was lifted up on it, that He might draw all men and all things to Him. (John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, VIII, 1843)