Question: "Why did Jesus have to experience so much suffering?"
Answer: Isaiah 52:14 declares, “Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Jesus suffered most severely throughout the trials, torture, and crucifixion (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19). As horrible as His physical suffering was, it was nothing compared to the spiritual suffering He went through. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus had the weight of the sins of the entire world on Him (1 John 2:2). It was sin that caused Jesus to cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). So, as brutal as Jesus' physical suffering was, it was nothing compared to His having to bear our sins and die to pay the penalty for them (Romans 5:8).
Isaiah predicts Jesus’ suffering in clear language: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3, 5). Psalm 22:14-18 is another powerful passage predicting the suffering of the Messiah: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
Why did Jesus have to suffer so badly? Some think that Jesus' physical torture was part of His punishment for our sins. To some extent, this is true. At the same time, the torture Jesus underwent speaks more of the hatred and cruelty of humanity than it does of God's punishment for sin. Satan's absolute hatred of God and Jesus was surely a part of the motivation behind the relentless torture and abuse. The suffering heaped on Jesus is the ultimate example of the hatred and rage sinful man feels toward a holy God (Romans 3:10-18).
© Copyright 2002-2014 Got Questions Ministries.