The first miracle of the cross:
THE WONDER OF FORGIVENESS
The Sting of Death
Sin is called ‘the sting of death’ in the Bible17. This sting penetrated Jesus’ soul, spirit and body. He was confronted with our sin in all aspects of His sinless life. This went completely against His nature! It was as if He was in the middle of a film that was being played. Our sin was projected onto His retina, as it were. He responded to this with all of His senses and emotions.
Jesus’ cup of life was filled with all the sins of the world and He began to drink it, sip by sip. The Bible says this is when He tasted death18. With every sip He tasted our sinful emotions. He tasted the bloodthirsty hatred of the murderer, but also the sudden panic of the victim. He smelled the blood that was shed innocently. He heard the cries of fear and saw the results of the power of sin in all of creation. He, who was one hundred percent pure in all of His emotions, was confronted with emotions that were completely alien to Him: fear, hatred and paralysing sorrow.
What Jesus experienced here, was nothing more than a preview of hell. When Mark cited Jesus: ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death’, he used a Greek word for ‘exceedingly sorrowful’ (thanatos) which literally means: ‘death with the implied idea of future misery in hell’19. That is what Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. All the demonic powers, rulers and forces pounced on Jesus to ridicule, accuse, judge and torment Him. Gethsemane was a horrific hell-experience for the Man who knew no sin.