Stand with me at the foot of the cross. Come close. So close that when we look up, all we can see is that face. The arms outstretched, the hands barely visible in our peripheral vision.
What do we see?
If you saw Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, you no doubt took away indelible images of the physical pain and agony of Jesus’ death on a Roman cross. In our imaginations we see the nails and the stretching, hanging, and suffocating, and we are astonished that anyone would willingly give up a throne to submit to such excruciating torture.
On the day he died, Jesus endured so much physical pain; yet the Scriptures say he didn’t open his mouth. Like a lamb going to the slaughter, he endured silently the scourging, mocking, spitting, slapping, nailing, the struggle to breathe.
But at the crucial juncture, Gibson’s movie could not show us, nor can we even imagine the greater pain of being cursed—being totally removed from the presence of God. Around noon something beyond all imagination began to happen.
The world went dark, and Christ became sin.