The crucifixion: How much is enough?

Jesus and the 12

This painting by James Tissot shows Jesus with the 12 Disciples.

 

In the Verse of the Day for April 2, 2015, we find Jesus Christ speaking to his closest followers, as he tries to prepare them for the sequence of events that will lead to his death and subsequent resurrection:

Matthew 20: 17-19 (KJV)

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

In reflecting upon this passage, we attempt to comprehend to a limited degree the unimaginable anguish and suffering that the Savior took upon himself on our behalf. He was “wounded for our transgressions,” referring to the physical suffering that resulted from being brutalized and beaten beyond recognition. In addition, he was “bruised for our iniquities,” referring, in this case, to the mental anguish and the psychological trauma that he was forced to undergo. The scriptures speak of “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . . who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame. . . .” Often while reading about the Lord’s passion or viewing a film or some other graphic portrayal of his suffering, I am sometimes tempted to scream, “Enough is enough.” Such sentiments are expressed in this poem originally composed on Resurrection Sunday, March 31, 2001:

More than Enough

How much is enough?

Can you measure the length of each scar on his back?

Can you trace the depth of each gash and follow each track?

Can you extract and analyze sweat, like drops of blood?

Can you remove water and blood and then weigh the good?

Can you collect the tears and hold them in a vial?

Can you assess the shame and disgrace of trumped up trial?

 

How much is enough?

 

One more mocking bow, one more man to spit in his face,

One more taunting gesture, one more mark of disgrace.

One more lash, one more gash, one more blow to the head,

As he endured the cross, despising the shame as he bled.

To smash once more, one blow short of certain death.

He cried, “It is finished” then yielded his last breath.

 

How much is enough?

 

Who can assess the worth of his blood and establish a price

For the precious Lamb of God, unblemished, sinless sacrifice?

God’s bounty of mercy is sufficient. His deep love will suffice.

Despite the deficit, God balances each account to set it right.

Where sin once had free reign, now grace has abounded instead.

The Lord himself provided the Lamb, whom He raised from the dead.

In His gracious goodness Jehovah-Jireh reminds us

That He is more than enough, yes, so much more than enough.

 

To close this blog entry, listen to this corresponding musical composition, “More than Enough” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

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