imagine. the doctor tells you that you have 1 day to live. you know what is about to happen. you know you are about to die. your minor request is that your friends stay up with you and pray. you don’t ask for deeds, you just ask for presence. yet, your friends fall asleep on you while you are worried to death – to the point that you sweat blood. but your friends are sleeping like babies. that’s loneliness.
imagine. you’ve basically lived with someone for 3 years. you provide for them. you offer nothing but love to that person. then they betray you, with a kiss. a kiss. what was once one of the most precious signs of love is now once of the most recognizable signs of betrayal. the kiss of death. that’s betrayal.
imagine. being captured. seized. all of your “ride or die‘s” are with you. but they just ride out. and you, well, you are basically left to die. someone even runs away in so much fear that he’s naked. that’s abandonment.
imagine. being tried illegaly. being on trial when the court is supposed to be closed. the witnesses testifying against you collectively have false accounts that do not agree – yet, the death sentence is still demanded. you have already been beaten, slapped, punched, spat on, mocked, and flat out disrespected. unfairly. undeservedly. not guilty. innocent. that’s unfair.
imagine. you are stripped of your clothes. you are tied to a post. your entire back is exposed. you are being flogged by a leather whip with small bones and metal attached to such. in public. your skin is literally stripped off of you, as if it were mere velcro. because the whip. sticks. an extreme amount of blood is lost. most die after a flogging, but you are still alive. that’s humiliation.
imagine. you are then mocked. beaten even more. and a crown of thorns is shoved onto your skull. sarcastic symbols of royalty are given to you while you are being treated like a peasant. your beard is plucked, like that one strand of cotton hanging off of your shirt. ripped from your face. yet and still, you are getting beaten until you no longer even appear as a human. it seems as if they are trying to kill you. they are. that’s extreme.
imagine. after all of this. you walk. being alive is unfathomable at this point. walking is the last thing you can think of. but yet, you walk – with a 100+ pound cross on your back. the same back that has been ripped to shreds. you. walk. the road to glory death. that’s agony.
and this is all before Jesus died on the cross. these events are what preceded the cross. this all happened before Jesus even got on a cross. the loneliness, the betrayal, the unfairness, the humiliation, the extremity, the agony – before the cross, point to the loneliness, betrayal, unfairness, humiliation, extremity, and agony that Jesus would face on the cross.
imagine. the cross.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
in all its ugliness, that’s a beautiful death.