“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:” (John 19:33)
It amazes me that Pilate would wonder how Jesus was dead already, he saw the truth of Isaiah 52:14. “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:” In fact, he had been the Almighty’s instrument to cause much of it. He was ripped to shreds as He hung on that cross, He no longer looked human, but they did not kill Him.
“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:18)
“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46)
It was not Pilate, not the Jewish people who put Him there. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
The last two men that our Lord Jesus Christ witnessed to while He was amongst us were hung beside Him, one went to paradise, one to hell. Millions have been witnessed to since then through those who have been crucified with Him, millions have gone to be with Him in heaven, hundreds of millions have gone to hell.
If you are suffering it is the Father’s good pleasure to bring that suffering into your life, the question is, are you still witnessing for Him?
In the pain can you profess His name to others, not with a feigned smile, not with a silly grin on your face whilst the pain racks your body, but through the pain, in all honesty? Can you look at them and tell them that if they call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul, if they die to self for the glory of God, that they also should expect pain and suffering, and accept it with joy?
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” (2nd Tim. 2:12)
How many people can only look at the temporal, how many people want all the riches of heaven in this life, how many cannot suffer with Him and for Him? How many are the chaff?
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)
“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
There is a peace that passes all understanding in the greatest of suffering, in the valley of pain, it is small, but it is there. Can you tell them that if they call upon the Lord for their eternal salvation that they should expect sorrow and grief, expect pain and suffering, can they still see Him in you while you are there?
It is perhaps the truest of tests my friends, it reveals our enduring faith to them, it is, in its own right, the most infallible example of trust there is, to continue to trust when he whom you trust brings suffering into your life.
“Though He slay me” are the words they need to hear from you.
“Thy will be done,” are the words He wants to hear from you.
You need to believe the promises, you must rest in the truth of the words the Holy Spirit reveals to your heart, “This too shall pass.”
Those you are speaking to will see your unswerving faith, the Father will be glorified in it, and you, if even for a brief moment, will find rest for your soul.
Which one of these two men that hung on either side of our Savior they will become is entirely up to them.
It is fine and good to speak to them of the unimaginable wonders and glory of heaven, of the pleasures forevermore that await all who have been born-again, and we should speak of them, but will you reveal the truth of suffering for Him here, can you let your faith in Him shine brighter than that red glow of pain, can they see your faith in Him through the fog of suffering?
In those seasons my brothers and sisters in Christ, your light must shine the brightest.