Daily Devotional - February 1
While on the cross, Jesus experienced a taste of hell in at least six very real ways:
- Jesus was conscious during His time of suffering on the cross. He felt the scourging, nailing, and torturing pain of crucifixion. Hell is a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28, Matthew 13:50). In hell, one will be conscious of suffering.
- Darkness was experienced by Jesus “from the sixth hour (12 noon) until the ninth hour (3 pm)” (Matthew 27:45). Hell will be the blackest of darkness.
- Jesus was surrounded by demonic powers. Colossians 2:15 states, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [the cross]”. We do not fully see this spiritual conflict taking place on Calvary, but this dark force of demons would have poured out their evil jeers and hatred on Christ.
- Jesus bore our sins in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24) because God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). God laid the iniquity of us all on Him (Isaiah 53:6). Christ was our sinbearer. In Hell, we will bear our sins.
- Jesus experienced hell on the cross by taking the punishment for sin. During those hours of darkness, He bore our sins and endured our punishment. God poured out His wrath on sin. That is what Hell is, receiving the punishment for the sins we deserve.
- Christ was separated from the love of God. To be separated from God’s love is to be removed from all that is wonderful and lovely. Hell is being conscious of suffering, in total blackest darkness, surrounded by demonic powers, bearing the guilt of sin, coming under the judgment of God, and being eternally separated from love. The hell of hells is knowing that you could have followed God and that you passed up this opportunity--forever! Hell is for real. But, God has provided a way out. It is through His son Jesus Christ. He was the one that paid the price for your sins. All you need to do is admit: I am a sinner; repent: I am sorry for my sins; believe: Jesus paid the price by dying on the cross; and accept: Jesus is my Lord and Savior. The invitation is given; the time is now.
For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are yet without sin.
~ Hebrews 4:15
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett