Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The story of Jesus is the story of the great controversy between God and Satan. The Enemy hounded Him every day of His life on earth as the Son of God incarnate. No human being has ever been so hated, treated so despicably, as was Jesus.
His pain was not only during those few hours when He was nailed to the cross; it began with His boyhood. As a Boy of 12 He surrendered His soul to death on the cross when He said to Mary and Joseph, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49). They should have known, but even His mother could not understand Him; and as His mother she had to endure the pain of a sword thrust through her heart as no other mother in history has ever had to endure (cf. vs. 35).
On and on through His 33-1/2 years of sojourn among us, Jesus in His sensitive human nature has had to endure the opposition of human beings inspired by the murderous hatred of Satan. Finally in His last hour of human breath He had to endure what no other human has--the sense of the horrible condemnation of the "curse" of God. "My God, My God," He cries in mortal anguish as death encircles His soul, "why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). He cannot even cry "My Father"! The loving Father has abandoned Him to be humiliated by the world; all are against Him.
When He told His disciples in Gethsemane, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (26:38), He meant the real thing--not the sweetness of our desired sleep. He was "pouring out His soul unto [the] death" that is, the eternal curse of the Ruler of the universe (cf. Isa. 53:12). Darkness, loneliness forever! Peter says He endured the pangs of hell itself--the second death (Acts 2:27). Here is the "width and length and depth and height" of the "love [agape] ... which passes knowledge." (Eph. 3:18, 19).
Jesus has been forced to wait for 6000 years to find a church, a corporate body of believers, who appreciate His sacrifice in a sense adequate to enable them to "lighten the earth" with the glory of its message. The lukewarmness of His last-days' church (Rev. 3:14-21) is the biggest problem He has had in these millennia.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 3, 2006.
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