OceanSide church of Christ
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Mental Anguish of Christ
by: Dalton Gilreath
Christians are to partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. For a few moments, the cares of this world are pushed aside as the mind narrows its attention upon death of Christ. However, sometimes the crucifixion becomes solely a physical image in the mind. Meditating upon the cross is so much more than the scourging, the nails that pierced His side, the thorns on His head, and even the cross upon which He hung. In fact, this was only about half of the anguish Jesus endured. The other half was the pain endured in His heart.
Christ dealt with betrayal after betrayal from His closest friends. For starters, Judas Iscariot was one of His chosen apostles. Doubtless, he was a man who the Lord knew would be right for the job. Christ spent many hours teaching His apostles and building relationships with each of them. When the time of betrayal came, it was none other than one of His very own apostles, Judas, who was the culprit. He even made the sign of His betrayal a kiss. Judas had informed the soldiers that the man he would kiss would be this Jesus they came to arrest (Matt 26:48). Additionally, when the betrayal occurred no one stayed by His side as they all “forsook him” (Matt 26:56 KJV). If that isn’t enough one of His inner circle of friends, Peter, denied ever having been His follower at all (Matt 26:69-75).
Secondly, from the moment of the first trial until His very death He was insulted in every way imaginable. He was slapped, mocked, and paraded by people who were “pretenders”. These included the high priest Caiaphas, King Herod, and even the governor, Pilate, who was only there because God allowed it (John 19:11). To top it all off, this injustice was happening in a city that was so dear to His heart (Luke 13:34).
Finally, His mental anguish continued as He was crucified immodestly. Jesus was most likely crucified naked or partially naked at the very least (Mark 15:24). Many believe the garment in question was probably made for Him by His mother. Yet, He watched that garment being defiled as He hung naked before a Passover crowd, His friends, and His very mother. Furthermore, He was also hanging in front of His heavenly Father who had to turn His back on Him as well (Matt 27:46). For the first and only time in His eternal existence, He didn’t have a single person who was there for Him. No greater anguish has ever been endured in the existence of man, nor a greater motivator to serve Him every day for all He went through so undeservingly for us.