It’s no fun stepping on a nail. It was just a small nail, but it hurt like crazy. The pain of the Crucifixion must have been unimaginably horrible. No wonder so much has been written and sung about the agony Jesus endured on the cross. And yet, consider this surprising thing He said as He waited for that terrible day to come:
I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! (Luke 12:50)
Jesus was not looking forward to being crucified. His prayers in Gethsemane bear witness to how awful He knew His next day would be. But the distress He felt as He waited was the distress of yearning for His work on the cross to be accomplished. Because it was not until the price for sin was fully paid that God’s Spirit could be given to people like me, by God’s love, grace and perfect justice. And without that life-giving Spirit, we all were doomed. When Jesus looked around, everyone He saw was headed for Hell. It distressed Him; He could hardly wait until He made eternal life possible for everyone who would receive Him by faith.
“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
“…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b)
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.” (John 6:63a)
Even though He knew how badly it would hurt to make God’s Spirit available, He loved me more. And you, too.
That’s why, with His last breath,
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
Sort of finished. His part was finished. But it’s not completely finished until you accept it.