Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Are Never Too Old, Nor Is It Ever Too Late, To Change

The old saying "you can't teach old dogs new tricks"--though possibly challenged as to its veracity by The Dog Whisperer--is a common assumption by most. Many feel that the older a person becomes, the less likely he will ever change. Cynicism only deepens when an older person faces imminent death and "comes to Christ." Many Christians feel that "jailhouse" or "fox-hole" conversions can't be real. Professed changes of character late in life, or minutes from death, seem to create cynicism.

But we who believe that the grace of God is often given in different seasons of life point to "the thief on the cross." Just hours before his death, he was converted to faith in Christ. However, even we who believe it's never too late to change don't fully understand the dramatic change that occurred in the thief within the last few hours of his death. We often point out that of the two thieves crucified beside Christ, one mocked Him and was condemned, and the other one believed on Him and was taken to paradise upon death. But we don't see how bad off both were in the last hours of their lives.

When both thieves were initially hung on the crosses beside Christ, BOTH mocked him. Mark 15:32 --
"And they that were crucified with him reviled him"
Something happened to one of the thieves. He who had mocked Christ at the 9:00 a.m. hour (Mark 15:32) came to the place by the afternoon where he rebuked the other thief for his mocking of Christ, saying:

Do you not fear God, seeing that you are experiencing the same condemnation? And we deserve our sentence of condemnation, a just punishment for our actions. But this man has done nothing wrong. Then he turned to Jesus and said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
The story of the TWO thieves on the cross, who both mocked Christ at the beginning of the crucifixion, is testimony to us all that one is never too old, nor is it ever too late, to change.

In His Grace,



Christiane said...

The example of the 'Good Thief' in the Holy Scriptures is full of meaning, especially when read by Christian people during the time before Easter.

In my Church, the Good Thief is called 'St. Dismas'. And we are taught this:
"In St. Luke’s Gospel the Good Thief, the one crucified on the Lord’s right, cries
out “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The Lord replies “This day you will be with Me in Paradise.”

We know from the Gospel that the Good Thief was a model of deep sorrow for sin and humble faith in Jesus, two things which we find hard to have when we are suffering at the hands of others.
We have to begin where
he did, by admitting our own faults and refusing to blame others."

Imagine. All the humble good thief did was to ask to be remembered by Christ. And yet, Our Lord, overflowing with His Divine Grace, opens the doors of Heaven to the Good Thief 'this day'.

Sorrow and humility before the Lord was shown by this thief, a son of Adam.
And toward St. Dismas, the New Adam, Christ, extended His Hand in salvation.

So He extends His Hand still to the sons of Adam and the daughters of the lady Eve, who come to Him in humility and sorrow to ask of Him: 'Lord, remember me.' said...

Good points Christiane,

What I find profound is that "the good thief" mocked Christ as well.

So that "the goodness" was not inherent in the thief from the beginning, but something good happened to him, something that comes from outside of himself and caused him to be aware of his sin, to be broken over it, and to see the beauty and glory of Christ.

I call that God's grace.


Rex Ray said...

Your saying, “Many Christians feel that…’fox-hole’ conversions can’t be real”; makes me wonder if they’ve ever been in a fox-hole.

A young soldier of Patton’s Fourth Armored Division was in a fox-hole on their first day of fighting. He thought he would be killed. He knew he was lost and prayed to Jesus to save him. He said Jesus stepped into his heart and he was so happy he thought he would live forever. The next day my father, a chaplain, visited the make-shift aid station on the front lines where the wounded were being brought. Medics pointed to this soldier and said he didn’t have long to live. The soldier asked my father to raise him off the ground and see if shrapnel had gone through him. Blood was making a stream across the sand. Knowing he was going into eternity, he told how Jesus had saved him and to tell his mother he’d meet her in heaven. She replied to my father: “You’ll never know how much your letter meant to us.”

Wade, you quoted Mark 15:32: “And they that were crucified with him reviled him” and concluded that “BOTH mocked him.”

That’s an example of an inerrantists like Adrian Rogers saying “Scripture cannot be set against Scripture.”

I mean it’s like taking the Scripture that women are saved by childbirth and concluding that’s how women are saved while ignoring other Scriptures.

“Several biographies of Christ have already been written using as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitness. However, it occurred to me that it would be well to RECHECK all these accounts from first to last and after thorough investigation to pass this summary on to you, to reassure you of the TRUTH of all you were taught.” (Luke 1:1-3 Living)

The question arises to what “biographies” was Luke referring to; and the SOURCE from which they were written. And what source did Luke use to write?

It sounds like he was going to “recheck” the accounts after his investigation.

Luke’s “investigation” does not sound like; ‘God told me what to write.’

With that said, ‘Luke’s investigation’ on what thieves said at Calvary; Luke writes in (Luke 23:39-40):

“ONE of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed…but the other criminal protested…” (Living)

“And ONE of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him…But the other answering rebuked him…” (KJ)

“Then ONE of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults…But the other answered, rebuking him…” (Holman)

I believe the way Luke tells the account would mean one thief heard about Jesus while in prison and believed Jesus was the Messiah.

Hey! This thief had more faith than the disciples. said...


BOTH DID revile him.

One had a change of heart and mind within a few hours prior to his death.

That's the point of the post.



Sorry, Rex, I don't believe there are errors in the Bible, but I love those brothers who do, including you.


Bob Cleveland said...

Just because there are 5 comments (so far) on the string, doesn't mean there aren't three comments. There are.

Just because some gospels don't report certain things doesn't mean that other gospels, which do, are inaccurate.

Just because some gospels don't record that the "other thief" reviled Jesus, before his conversion, doesn't mean that the gospel which did record it, is wrong.

Denise Fath said...

So true, it is never too late to change! I don't really understand the cynicism that many have for late life conversions. If anything I'd think we'd be 1) relieved they converted at all! and 2) sorry that they'll have such a short amount of time on earth to enjoy their conversion and live their faith out here

Ah well...

Anonymous said...

Happy St. David's Day!!!

"We praise thy name all-holy Lord,
For him the beacon-light,
That shone beside our western sea
Through mists of ancient night;
Who sent to Ireland’s fainting
New tidings of thy Word.
For David, Prince of Cambrian Saints,
We praise thee holy Lord."

--E. J. Newell

Rex Ray said...

You make a good point that “Just because some gospels don't report certain things doesn't mean that other gospels, which do, are inaccurate.”

But not any Gospels said the good thief had as Wade said, “…had a change of heart” or as you said, “One had a change of heart before his conversion.”

Where is that in Scripture?

That reasoning is like a spectator agreeing with an umpire calling “strike three – you’re out” and hours later disagreeing with the ump’s call.

We’d never know there was a good thief without Luke. If you’re going to end with his account, why not start with his account of there being only ONE bad thief?

I believe I know the answer: The closed minded thinking that since writers of the Bible NEVER make a mistake, there has to be a ‘MIRICLE’ conversion of one of the ‘bad’ thieves.

And there has to be hours of continues reviling or a second ‘blast’ by the bad thief for the good thief to rebuke him as he did as written:

“Then ONE of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults…But the other answered, rebuking him…”

There are not hours between the insults and the rebuke.

Wade, since you believe there are no errors in the Bible, would you explain why the Holman Bible changed the ruler’s daughter from being dead to being very sick when all other translations in Matthew 9:18 have the girl dead?

Or does “inerrancy’ only apply to the original manuscripts?

Bob Cleveland said...


I said “One had a change of heart before his conversion”?

What? Where is THAT, in my comment?

But of course EVERYONE has a change of heart before conversion.

HAHAHAH .. I cannot BELIEVE the Word Verification: "homycon"!!

Also, I figure the thief who expressed faith might just have read the sign Pilate painted, which hung over Jesus' head. I doubt Jesus was a big conversation topic among thieves. I'd rather think he read the sign.

Rex Ray said...

Sorry, I try not to put words in people’s mouths, but your sentence said; “Just because some gospels don't record that the "other thief" reviled Jesus, before his conversion, doesn't mean that the gospel which did record it, is wrong.”

So I should have asked, ‘where do Scriptures say the good thief had a conversion on his cross?’

Maybe it’s not too late to ask.

Another question: How do you know the good thief could read, and how would “King of the Jews” over a man’s head being crucified convert anyone? It sure didn’t convert Jewish leaders.

I could just as well speculate he was among 5,000 fed by Jesus, witnessed any number of miracles, or even been healed himself.

I believe some former ‘experience’ from hearing – seeing – and believing gave the thief the faith to ask Christ to remember him.

To believe that God just ‘zapped’ him to believing would lead us to stop preaching the Gospel and just let God zap who he chooses to be saved.

Bob Cleveland said...


Only if you believe the command to preach the gospel really doesn't mean what it says.

Rex Ray said...

You said, “Only if you believe the command to preach the gospel really doesn’t mean what it says.”

I believe you just proved my point.

Someone, somehow, preached the gospel to the good thief before Calvary, and Luke gave the most accurate account of NOT TWO thieves but:

“Then ONE of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults …”

So we’ve back to square one that some must believe that both thieves were bad as the only logical reason in order to maintain an inerrant Bible.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...


One of the finest Christians I know never heard a sermon in his life, before He got saved. He picked up a Gideon Bible, and God fell all over him.

I don't care to describe God as One who would never save anybody that way. Nor do I think the Apostle Paul was saved via a sermon, either.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Sometimes people go along with the crowd even if they don't really believe what the crowd is doing. But when one's heart is touched with the evidence strong enough for them to stand out from the crowd, they are willing to take a stand in opposition to the crowd. It isn't easy to be the who believes when everyone around you does not.

It is apparent to me that the thief who believed did not practice hardening his heart to the point where he no longer could believe. While some think that they can be like the thief on the cross and turn to Christ in the last five minutes of their life so that they can have the best of both worlds, they may find that they cannot believe because of the practiced hardness of their heart.

One thief died in the hardness of his heart while the other one did not die with a hardened heart. There is always the opportunity to receive Christ in the lateness of our life, but we should be warned that practicing shutting the door in the precious face of our Lord Jesus over and over again throughout the years may leave us without the ability to have faith when the end comes. Today is the day of salvation for those who hear the call.

Rex Ray said...

Ah, I stand corrected by you catching me making an incorrect statement about the good thief hearing the Gospel preached.

In fact, the disciples didn’t understand the Gospel until after Jesus was resurrected.

You didn’t disagree with me saying: “I could just as well speculate he was among 5,000 fed by Jesus, witnessed any number of miracles, or even been healed himself. I believe some former ‘experience’ from hearing – seeing – and believing gave the thief the faith to ask Christ to remember him.”

I notice that most dodge hard questions like Mathew 9:18, but will jump all over picky mistakes like the thief hearing the Gospel before Calvary.

I believe news traveled then as it does today. If one of several bank robbers killed a guard, the newspaper headline would read: “Bank Robbers kill guard.”

I believe in Matthew and Mark, both thieves got lumped together for what only ONE of them said.

Bob, if Matthew and Mark had skipped the thieves, would you believe Luke in the way he wrote it…that only ONE thief railed against Jesus?

Wade, I believe Bob and I have just proved your post of never too old to change is incorrect. :)

Rex Ray said...

Cheryl Schatz,
You’re so right about hard hearts not being able to accept Jesus before they died even if they wanted to.

Long ago, one of the big time atheists said on his death bed, “Oh, if I had the faith of a Holy Roller!”

The Roman guards did not believe in Jesus, but seeing the way Jesus died, they said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.”

Maybe, just maybe, after the bad thief was chastised by the other, and hearing he would be in Paradise with Jesus, the bad thief might have asked, ‘Me too?’

Cheryl Schatz said...

Rex Ray,
Perhaps what you say could be, but then there was no evidence of faith for us to identify even that little spark of faith. I tend to think that if the man had a change of heart and repented and asked Jesus for the way to heaven, that God would have received the glory for such a marvelous conversion. Without a pinprick of evidence, there doesn't appear to be a belief in the heart or a confession with the mouth from the man on that other wooden cross. And Jesus didn't tell the disciples after He was resurrected that there was one more soul that was saved that dark night.

Instead we only hear the words of his mocking as the last will and testament to his heart. Any other words of repentance would surely have given God the glory all of these years. I see that as a warning to all of us. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus and give glory to God with our mouths while we still have the breath of life to honor Him here on this earth.

Rex Ray said...

Cheryl Schatz,
Nice of you to reply. I’ve learned so much from you, even though in some circles women are not allowed to teach men.:)

It was from you I learned the sad :) news that my wife’s desire for me was NOT what I’d been led to believe all my life.

On the subject at hand, you imply that without evidence of his conversion the bad thief will more than likely be missing in heaven.

He may very well end up in hell, but it won’t be because “lack of evidence”. Remember the world could not hold all that Jesus said and did.

We know that dead saints came from their graves and were seen by many. Because it’s not recorded doesn’t mean they didn’t say anything. I wish John the Baptist would have said boo to Heriod’s wife. said...


"I wish John the Baptist would have said boo to Heriod’s wife."

That's funny.

Jeff said...

Rex, Now I get it, Mean old men can't possible understand what their wife want, despite what the wife expresses they want. The wife does not even know what she wants--She needs the new perspective on women to tell her.

Bob Cleveland said...



I have an old (NOT inerrant) saying: "What if, never happened". I don't speculate what I'd think if the Bible were different. The Bible, not my opinion, is the "given".

Nor do I want to base a theological point on that the Bible doesn't say, especially when it would fly in the face of what the Bible DOES say.

As to the Matthew 9:18 thing, I think the HCSB folks are the ones to query about that; I'd rather do that than to question the inerrancy of the God's Word, based on one translation.

Jeff said...

Rex, How do you know some of the Jewish leaders were not converted? If I follow your view of the Bible, I could just say hey one them got converted.

Read Psalm 115:3

Cheryl Schatz said...

Hi Rex,

I really appreciate your kind words!

I realize that the inside of us is not able to be seen by others so we can never know for sure, but confessing before men is very important as it solidifies our commitment. Did the other thief confess? He was required to do that by my reading. Did Jesus say that the other thief confessed when he came back from the dead? After all the other thief would have been with Him in the place of the dead. No one gave evidence that Jesus made this announcement and Jesus gave no glory to God for a confession by the other thief on the cross. So while there is always a possibility, it is highly unlikely. I guess we will know for sure when we all get to heaven to be with Jesus, eh?

And yes, the heart of a woman is to "desire" her husband in a good way. I haven't met a woman yet who told me that she longs to rule her husband. But there are many who so desire him that they will stay through hell and high water, through beatings and through lies, deceit, adultery and other things that would cause a man to flee long before. Often this strength and perseverance of a woman is used by the man for his own benefit. I wish it were not so, but that is the world that we live in.

Steven Stark said...

I do think that it makes more since that Luke used Mark as a source. Then he amended the story of the thieves to fit his theological meaning. There is definitely symbolism through Luke's gospel. In Mark Jesus' suffering is the main point - one reason why the thieves mocking of him fits. In Luke, Jesus does not really suffer, but dispassionately moves through the story (except for the "sweating blood" passage in Gethsemane which many see as a later interpolation) - He is more in control, willfully submitting to his destiny. The thief's attitude contributes to this theological point - that Jesus is suspending his power temporarily. The thief asks Jesus to remember him when his kingdom comes. What a wonderful story.

Christiane said...
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Christiane said...
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Christiane said...

There are some who see this quote from Isaiah as a prophecy of how Christ was crucified between two 'transgressors':

" he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors."
(Isaiah 53:12)

So all that occurred at the Cross had been foretold long ago.

This prophecy also foretells: He made intercession for 'the transgressors' plural.
This would be in keeping with the Divine Mercy He showed to ALL there present who had tormented and reviled Him:
it is written that He said of all those who persecuted Him: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' I have no doubt at all, that the 'Bad Thief' who had taunted Him was included in this most merciful prayer of Our Lord.

Rex Ray said...

What would have really scared Heriod’s wife would be John carrying his head on a platter.

I’m glad you “get it’; even though I don’t get what ever you’re talking about. Maybe Sheryl can inform me.

I agree that some of the Jewish leaders became Christians. Some of the believers had been priest.

Mathew 27:44 and Mark 15:32 wrote about 10 words about the thieves. That was only the HEADLINE, but Luke 23:39 tells in depth the “rest of the story” of about 100 words.

Luke 23: 23-40: “…If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him…”

How in the world can anyone believe there were hours between the two back to back sentences?

After Jesus tells the thief he will be in Paradise, the Holman has the subtitle “The Death of Jesus”, and the next verses tell of him dying; starting with verse 44: “It was now about noon…”

To connect “noon” to the time of the thief answering – well, I need Gene to explain my thoughts. :)

Bob, you said: “As to the Matthew 9:18 thing, I think the HCSB folks are the ones to query about that; I'd rather do that than to question the inerrancy of the God's Word, based on one translation.”

I’m not sure what you mean. Do you not understand that the HCSB folks changed Matthew to make it inerrant with Mark and Luke since all other translations show that Matthew has an error?

Jesus said if the disciple could not understand earthy things, how could he explain heavenly things.

Much of the meaning behind the words of Jesus is lost to us because of our inability to understand. Sometimes his truth would only confuse us.

I believe that for three days Jesus didn’t go to hell and whip up on the devil, but there he endured God’s punishment for our sins.

The thief didn’t go to hell with Jesus even though Jesus said the thief would be with him. While Jesus said that he had not yet ascended to his Father, I believe the thief was already there.

Darrell said...


thanks wade :-)

Jeff said...

All we need is Gene to start writing, a liberal perspective is good for a laugh. Perhaps, he learned that from his feminized church.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Rex Ray,

You said: "I believe that for three days Jesus didn’t go to hell and whip up on the devil, but there he endured God’s punishment for our sins."

No, Jesus didn't go to hell and whip up on the devil. The devil will get his punishment later.

But did Jesus endure punishment after he died? Some say that He did, but Jesus said "It is finished". I think He would be the one to know whether it was finished or not and I think it is a wise thing to believe Jesus. I'm just a simple person and accept the word of the One who made me 'cause He knows much more than I do.

And if He lives within us we can ask Him to help us understand His word. He said that He would give to all who ask for wisdom. That's why I have to ask because my own wisdom is worth only a hill of beans. ;)

Christiane said...

It's me, L's

You wrote to Rex this question:
"But did Jesus endure punishment after he died?"

There is a prayer those of orthodox Christian faith pray on Holy Saturday, the Day before Easter during the period we call the 'Tridium' (three days in the tomb). This prayer is very, very ancient. It speaks of the work of Christ after He died on the Cross:

"Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep.

The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and He has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . .

He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, He has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . .
“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . .

I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”

This beautiful prayer is part of the liturgy for Holy Saturday.


Rex Ray said...

Cheryl and Christiane,
“It is finished.”
What is finished?
Without a reference to what “it” means, “it” is about the worse word in the world for communication.

Was “it” referring to all the punishment he would receive from his Father?

Or was “it” referring to the death of Jesus?

Only John tells “It is finished.” He did not relate that Jesus cried out with a loud voice as the other three Gospels: Matthew and Mark twice and Luke once.

The first cry was “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” is in Matthew and Mark.

All four Gospels relate Jesus saying something just before he died.
1. Matthew: “Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.”
2. Mark: “Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last.”
3. Luke: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit. Saying this, He breathed his last.”
4. John: “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

I used to believe the pain of being abandoned/separated from his Father caused some blood to turn to water, but now I believe that happened with Jesus crying with his last voice.

What caused that intense pain?

Just as my cousin died asking “which is our house”, I believe Jesus saw hell and trusted his spirit to his Father saying “It is finished.”

Rex Ray said...

“King David quoted Jesus saying: …You will not leave my soul in hell.” (Acts 2:27 Living)

“For David says of Him: ..You will not leave my soul in Hades…” (Holman)

Bob Cleveland said...

If Jesus really did take all our sins on Himself, I don't see how He would avoid the same punishment we'd have endured. But in His case, since His life was perfect, I don't think eternity would be required to pay the price. Any time would have done it fully, but apparently it would have been limited to the time in the tomb. Which He took upon Himself voluntarily.

Also, on the cross, with the sins of the world on Him, how could He possibly have seen, felt, perceived, communicated with, His Father. To me, that seems the cruelest punishment of all.

Christiane said...


May I offer some connections from the Holy Writings that we study during Lenten season?
Maybe it will help a little bit:

In the matter of Christ's words on the Cross 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
It is believed that when Christ spoke these words, He established Himself in solidarity with all mankind. These words were first prayed in great longing by King David, who had sinned and fallen:

Psalm 22

"1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
   and by night, but find no rest."

And in the matter of Christ's Words on the Cross: 'It is finished', there is this to think about:

Jesus had said to Peter, "Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"

And we remember then, that just before Christ said 'it is finished', Christ spoke these words: 'I thirst'.

The Lenten Psalms, and the Lenten Scriptures of the OT and the NT offer much to ponder.
For myself, it is good, through these Scriptures, to take the ancient journey of the deep longing of mankind to return to the Lord, in preparation for standing Vigil before the Dawn of Resurrection Day. :)

I hope these connections from the scriptures may be meaningful to you.
Much love,

Cheryl Schatz said...

Hi Rex,

Thanks for asking about "It is finished".

The term that Jesus used on the cross had a meaning of "Paid in full".

John MacArthur brings this out in this study bible:

The single Gr. word here (translated "it is finished") has been found in the papyri being placed on receipts for taxes meaning "paid in full"
MacArthur, J. J. (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible.

What was paid in full? The atonement on the cross that paid for our sins was completed in full the moment that Jesus cried out. Jesus did not have to pay for anything more for our sins nor do we have to add to what He did on our behalf, but thankfully, it was paid in full!

Cheryl Schatz said...

One other thing, the term "leave my soul in hell" was to leave my soul in the place of the dead. There were two parts for the place of the dead. One was called "paradise" or "Abraham's bosom". Across from this place was the place where those who died without faith went and there was a chasm between the two so that none could cross.

Christiane said...

The 'sheol' was considered in Judaism as the farthest place from heaven, but we find some clarification in Psalm 139 about the Presence of God among those in 'sheol':

""7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from your Presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there Your Hand shall lead me,
and Your Right Hand shall hold me fast. "

Psalm 139

Tom Kelley said...

Good post. Reminds me of one of my favorite songs that I hadn't listened to in a long time. You're probably familiar with it, but here's a link for those who might not be. Very worth listening to.

Too Small A Price

Rex Ray said...

Tom Kelley,
A very moving song. It just had one sentence wrong. [In my opinion of course. :) ]

I believe you’re correct in saying: “If Jesus really did take all our sins on Himself, I don't see how He would avoid the same punishment we'd have endured.”

I believe God would not be a JUST God if he only gave his Son a slap on the wrist. The penalty was foreseen in Abraham starting to plunge a knife through his son’s heart.

Also, to a point, you’re saying, “To me, that seems the cruelest punishment of all” is so true that (just like Abraham) God hid from Jesus that he would die alone – being forsaken by his Father.

“My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” This was not a fake question but a real question of anguish.

(John 16:32) proves the question was real because Jesus thought his Father would be with him on the Cross:

“…each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

Since Jesus thought his Father would be with him, what made him nearly die of anguish by sweating drops of blood?

Bravery is based on faith. So Jesus was the bravest man that ever lived. But if being dead for three days or the pain of the cross caused the anguish, then he looks like a sissy.

Peter demanded to be crucified up-side down which is more painful. Some have regretted: “Not having more than one life to give.”

The cry of “he was innocent’ is not the answer. Thousands of martyrs were innocent.

In spite of all the definitions of words, Jesus knew what hell was like.