Few people are willing to suffer for someone else. But Jesus was. In fact, he didn’t suffer for just one person; he chose to suffer for all the people in the world!

John 19 describes some of Jesus’ suffering: “After this, Jesus knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth” (John 19:28-29 NCV).

Jesus was in agony on the cross—and he was thirsty. He was suffering not just from pain but also from great thirst.

Jesus didn’t deserve to suffer for everyone’s sin. We each deserve to suffer for our own sins. But Jesus was willing to suffer and thirst for you so that you can go to heaven.

Jesus did nothing wrong. He committed no crimes. He didn’t hurt anyone. He lived a perfect life. So why did they kill him?

Jesus died for the redemption of others. He was thirsty for your benefit.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).

Jesus’ love for you is so great, so deep, and so wide that he was willing to take your sin as his own and cover it with his righteousness. Your sin cost him his life. He considers you worth it!

It’s hard to wrap our minds around that kind of love, but maybe this story will help:

In 1987, Northwest Airlines Flight 255 took off from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Twenty seconds later it crashed and killed 156 people. Only one person survived—a 4-year-old girl named Cecelia from Tempe, Arizona.

How did she make it when everyone else died? Rescuers pieced together what likely happened. Evidently, when the passengers realized they were going to crash, Cecelia’s mother took off her seatbelt, turned around, and got in front of her child. She surrounded her with her body, covering her in her love, protecting her little girl. The mother gave her life for another.

That’s what Jesus did for you! He suffered so that you don’t have to. He went through hell on the cross so you don’t have to go through hell for eternity. He covered you and protected you from the punishment, flames, and pain.

Jesus willingly died so you could have eternal life. He chose to suffer to buy your redemption. You never have to wonder how much God loves you. He’s already shown you on the cross!