The Marred Face of Christ
Excruciate: to cause great agony, torment
Latin : ex : out of, from cruciate : cross
“from the cross”
Reading this definition made me realize how often we misuse this word, a word fashioned to describe the indescribable, an attempt to explain that which was hidden from man’s eyes during those three hours of darkness as Jesus hung on the cross.
When I used to reflected on the marred visage of Christ, I thought of the scourging, the plucking out of His beard, and the crown of thorns beaten down upon his brow. These were the physical ways sinful man tried to deface Jesus that morning. Did they not see the reflection of the Father there? How could they look into the eyes of their Creator as they spat on His cheek? However, this was only a prelude to the incredible torment that awaited our Lord in the darkness of midday.
A cosmic battle took place on that hill outside of Jerusalem. As darkness fell, Christ became the perfect sacrifice. That darkness hid from our eyes the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah in chapter 52. As the weight and punishment of every sin throughout time was poured on Christ, His face was marred more than any man. Imagine the contortion brought on by pure agony so terrible that God concealed it from those on the hill that day. Christ, in the darkness, alone for the first time in eternity, became sin for us.
Yet that was not the end. Suffering and death were overcome! Though His face is no longer marred, Christ still bore the scars of the cross when He rose from the tomb. They are a reminder of His willingness to bear the agony of the cross, to be marred for us. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)