Today’s Scripture: Hebrews 12:2
“Jesus . . . endured the cross, despising the shame.”
At the time of Christ’s death, the cross was an instrument of incredible horror and shame. It was a most wretched and degrading punishment, inflicted only on slaves and the lowliest of people. If free men were at any time subjected to crucifixion for great crimes such as treason or insurrection, the sentence could not be executed until they were put in the category of slaves by degradation and their freedom taken away by flogging.
How could it be that the eternal Son of God—by whom all things were created and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:15-16)—would end up in his human nature dying one of the most cruel and humiliating deaths ever devised by man?
We know that Jesus’ death on the cross did not take him by surprise. He continually predicted it to his disciples. (See Luke 18:31-33 for one example.) And with his impending crucifixion before him, Jesus himself said, “What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour” (John 12:27, NIV). Jesus said he came to die.
But why? Why did Jesus come to die? The apostles Paul and Peter gave us the answer in clear, concise terms. Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,” and Peter wrote, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18, NIV).
Christ died for our sins. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, took upon himself a human nature and died a horrible death on our behalf. That is the reason for the cross. He suffered what we should have suffered. He died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. (Excerpt taken from The Gospel for Real Life)
Source: Your Holiness Day by Day | A Devotional by Jerry Bridges