Today God came to free the slaves and found himself bound. Today he came to shatter the chains, and he himself was chained. He came the mighty conqueror, and now he is conquered.
Today we see God’s wrath on those who fail. We observe the wages of sin as the nails are driven through flesh. We hear Jesus’ ragged breathing as he labors to suck in air. We smell the blood pouring out of so many tears in his skin. And in all that sorrow, what causes Jesus to scream out in pain? It is not the nails or the thorns; it is the desolation of the rejection of his Father. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We see what awaits us. Darkness is master now, and this is what comes of all who belong to him. And make no mistake: he is our natural master. This is what awaits us. This is what I have earned by turning my back on God. This is what I have worked for my entire life. This is the wages of sin.
The one who came to free us from what we deserve is dead.
Victorious and dead.
Jesus is dead, but he has not failed. He paid the price that buys our freedom. He pays what we owed. The price of his victory is his death.
We are free, and nothing more than the blood of the Son of God could do it. Our own blood would buy us nothing. Our own suffering would earn us but more suffering. You hear Jesus scream to his Father, but you cannot help him. Tonight, God shows his great wrath at sin and his great love for us in one great act… and you can do nothing.
God has always freed his people without their help. Why would this sacrifice be any different?