If any think there is doubt about whether Jesus suffered and died, you need only read Mark 15:34…“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even the strongest of men would not have made it to the cross – most would have died in the torture Jesus endured prior let alone the brutality of the Roman crucifixion process.
But Jesus is no ordinary man…remember all the passages on his foretelling of his death on this earth, especially John 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” Sisters and brothers…Jesus suffered and died…for us…but Jesus was not a helpless pawn on history’s chessboard.
Q37. What do you understand by the word “suffered”?
A. That during His whole life on earth, but especially at the end, Christ sustained in body and soul the anger of God against the sin of the whole human race.1 This He did in order that, by His suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,2 He might set us free, body and soul, from eternal condemnation,3 and gain for us God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.4
1 Isa. 53; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18.
2 Rom. 3:25; Heb. 10:14; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
3 Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 3:13.
4 John 3:16; Rom. 3:24-26.
Q38. Why did He suffer “under Pontius Pilate” as judge?
A. So that He, though innocent, might be condemned by a civil judge,1 and so free us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.2
1 Luke 23:13-24; John 19:4, 12-16.
2 Isa. 53:4, 5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.
Q39. Is it significant that He was “crucified” instead of dying some other way?
A. Yes. This death convinces me that He shouldered the curse which lay on me, since death by crucifixion was accursed by God.1
1 Gal. 3:10-13 (Deut. 21:23).