Chapter 12 - Christ in Pain

Christ in Pain

God has not exempted Himself from pain

Although scripture makes it clear that God is the ultimate cause of all things, including pain, it is likewise clear that God did not spare Himself from either physical or spiritual pain.1

God’s justice is inevitable and sin results in death. For mankind, it is either the death of Christ or our own death. Our choice.

Perhaps one of the most profoundly illuminating scriptures relating to the issue of pain in this life is found in Revelation 5. This passage is an analogy, a story, that teaches the depth of the effect of the cross. It seems that the time had come in heaven to open the book containing the decrees of God, because the end of mankind was fast approaching. But not just anyone could open the book. They needed someone who had the credentials to open it. So, heaven was searched in an effort to locate someone who had the credentials and could break the seal so the book could be read. There was only one person who had the credentials to break the seal and that person was Jesus Christ.

It is certainly not surprising that Christ had the credentials to open the scrolls. But what is very surprising is why He had the credentials to open them. This scripture says that Christ had the credentials to open the scrolls because He was slain.

Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us …2

This passage does not give any other reason for Christ’s qualification. It does not mention the fact that Christ had the requisite credentials because He is the Son of God,3 or because He is divine4 and the second person of the Trinity, or because He is the light of the world,5 or because He is God incarnate,6 or even because all things had been made through Him.7 He was and is all of those things, but none of these things are mentioned as the reason why He was worthy to open the scroll. Scripture gives only one reason why He is worthy to break the seal and open the book and that reason is because he was slain.

The point is that He had to actually do it.

He had to suffer. He had to actually die the death. God the Father did not simply decree by divine fiat that the sins of the world were forgiven. Instead, He required Christ had to become sin for us8 and to die the death Himself to satisfy divine justice and exculpate man from the inevitable end: eternal death.

So, pain is universal and inevitable. God does not exempt Himself from it. And we who are made in His image are required to suffer as well. When we do, let us remember that God did not exempt Himself from pain, excruciating pain.

The crucifixion is an overwhelming statement of How God sees both sin and righteousness. Sin is death; righteousness is life. At the cross Christ died as the result of the sins of others (us) and was later resurrected to eternal life because of His own righteousness and divinity Therefore, the cross is the ultimate statement of the truth that the wages of sin is death9 and that the fruit of righteousness in Christ is eternal life.10

All who have placed their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins have appropriated Christ’s voluntary11 sacrifice for the payment of their sins. They are in Christ and they will never die because they have eternal life.12 This gift of eternal life is free for the taking13 for whoever wants it.14 It is free, because only Christ could earn it and only Christ did earn it,15 and can therefore do with it as He chooses. And He chooses to give it to whoever will take it.16 Once given, the gift can never be lost because no man, no matter what he does, has either the authority or the power to alter what God has already done.17

In order to give us this gift, God did not exempt Himself from pain. He had a cross to bear, and we, who are made in His image have ours to bear as well.

1. Scripture teaches that there is one God who exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ is the Son and is therefore divine, the second person of the Trinity and is therefore God. See John 8:58 (“Before Abraham was, I AM.”)

2. Revelation 5:9.

3. John 1:34 “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”

4. John 8:15 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

5. John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

6. John 8:58 “Jesus sayeth unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then they took up stones to cast at him…”

7. John 1:3 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

8. 2 Corinthians. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who know no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

9. Romans. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

10. John 3:15, 4:36, 6:54, 17:2,17:3; Acts 13:48,; 1 Timothy. 6:12, 3:7; 1 John 1:2, 2:25, 5:11.

11. Matthew 26:53 “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently send twelve legions of angels. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled…?”

12. John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.”; Romans 6:23 “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

13. Ephesians 2:8 “…it is the gift of God.”

14. Revelation 22:17 “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

15. Revelation 5:9. “...for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood...

16. Revelation. 22:17 “...And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

17. Romans 8:38, 39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”; John 6:39 “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Other scriptures, such as Hebrews 6:4-8, teach that if anyone has tasted the heavenly gift and voluntarily turned away, it is impossible for us to renew him again to repentance. Evangelism is useless for him. However, the person himself can always repent (First John 1:9). But repentance for Christian is unrelated to salvation; it is instead related to knowing God and experiencing God's presence and peace (John 14:21,23). The more the Christian sins, the more he departs from the presence of Christ and the he will "bear thorns and briers" rather than the fruits of righteousness. This person is a back-slider and eventually he will lose all semblance of Christianity and become useless to God's overall purpose which is for us to become branches attached to the vine of Christ and bear the fruits of righteousness. The reference to the burning in Hebrews 6:8 when the back-slider is "nigh unto cursing" does not refer to hell, but instead to the standard procedure in vineyards where dead branches are snapped off and burned.