Don’t Forget This 1 Fact About Christ’s Death

I’d rather have been crucified.

That’s the thought I had in my head one morning in the shower.

A few months ago, my pastor preached a moving sermon using the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste as an illustration--a story I had not heard before.

Let me briefly tell it here:

A group of Christian soldiers in the 4th Century were condemned to death because of their professed faith in Christ. Rather than a simple execution, these men were to be stripped and escorted to the middle of a frozen pond (although they willingly disrobed and ran to the pond of their own accord). At the shore was a warm bath for any ready to denounce Jesus.

In all, forty men froze to death as martyrs for Christ.

(Read the whole story here.)

I was reminded of the story that morning, because I wasn't in the bath but a few minutes when the hot water began to fail. I thought about how unbearable a cold shower would be on a winter morning--even with a furnace heating the home.

I thought about how impossible it would be to stand there in the cold. I wondered if I would betray Jesus for a warm bath.

That’s when I had the thought.

I’d rather have been crucified than have to stand naked on a frozen pond with a warm bath taunting my pain.

Immediately I felt ashamed.

I had disrespected Jesus. Devalued the cross. I had minimized the pain that He had to endure on my behalf, when I knew I couldn’t even stand a five-minute cold shower.

Then I asked myself, Why?

Why would I rather be crucified?

The answer is quite simple, and it led me to a greater understanding of Christ’s death.

Were I nailed to a cross, I would not have the option to get down. My flesh could not betray myself once I was pinned down to the pine.

The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, on the other hand, could have at any point denounced Christ and immediately had comfort from their suffering.

That’s when it hit me.

Jesus could have done the same.

At any point during his suffering he could have ended it.

He could have thought, You know what? You all aren’t worth it. Why should I have to endure this?

He could have come down from that cross at any point. He could have saved Himself.

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:53

He could have saved Himself.

But He didn’t.

You see the suffering He endured was bad enough, but He wasn’t just fighting the pain. He was fighting His own flesh, because everything in Him had to be screaming, Put a stop to this.

But He didn’t do it, because He knew His death had a purpose.

He knew His death meant that we might be saved if we only would put our faith in Him (John 3:16).

Don’t forget that one fact about Christ’s death.

It demonstrates just how much love God really has for us.


Have you put your faith in Christ? Don't wait any longer. Do it today.

No comments:

Post a Comment