After Jesus institutes the Eucharist at the last supper as the New Covenant so that sins may be forgiven, He enters into the sacrifice that would be the atonement for the sins of the world and the doorway into the eternal life of the Trinity. He would also take on the curses of the previous covenants and vanquish their power over the human race. The sacrifice of the New Covenant occurs in Jesus’ passion and we all partake in it through His broken body. 

Examining Jesus’ passion, we see that it can be broken down into three areas: Spiritual suffering, emotional suffering, and physical suffering. All three have temptations that come with their sufferings and each can be identified throughout Jesus’ passion. However, we can generally see that each of the sufferings happen in a particular order. 

The first leg of Jesus’ suffering was predominantly spiritual. When He enters the Garden of Gethsemane, goes off with Peter, James, and John to pray. He separates from them and begins to exhort the Father in earnest. He knows the passion that He is about to undergo and is in distress. Spiritually, He is fighting to do God’s will. He knows what the Father wants Him to do, but His human sense of preservation does not want to comply. As He tells Peter, James, and John, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mat 26:42). He asks for the cup to pass if possible, but above all the will of the Father is to be done. In doing so, an agonizing spiritual battle rages in Him during His time spent in prayer in the Garden.  

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus passes through the first suffering which is possibly the most important. While he emotionally suffers in distress which causes the physical suffering of sweating blood, Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane to fight the battle that Adam and Eve had lost in the Garden of Eden a long time ago: doing the will of the Father. This was His main struggle in this leg of the passion, and he passes it through staying in constant prayer and clinging to the will of the Father. Throughout the rest of His passion, Jesus will undoubtedly have more spiritual temptation, but with His will aligned with the will of the Father, Jesus begins His next test, emotional suffering.

The next leg of Jesus’ passion is marked by betrayal and abandonment. Judas, one of the twelve Apostles closest to Him, betrays Jesus by turning Him over to the temple guards. Then all of the other Apostles abandon Jesus except Peter and John. After a short while of following Jesus at a distance, Peter, who was first to declare Jesus as the Son of God, denies three times ever knowing Jesus and abandons Him. Of Jesus’ Apostles, only John remains until His death accompanying Jesus’ mother Mary and some other women who had followed Him. 

Jesus’ Apostles were not the only ones who emotionally injured Him. Those in charge of giving justice to Jesus failed to give Him the dignity of a human being. The Jewish priests and teachers who were in charge of upholding the Word of God, trumped up charges and called Jesus a blasphemer when He revealed that He was the Son of God. Not only do they accuse Him of blasphemy, but they slapped and spit on Jesus, the Lord of the universe. Herod treated Jesus like a novelty item, discarding Him after he didn’t get the miracle he wanted. Even Pilate, while appearing sympathetic toward Jesus, ended up caring more about political peace than the life of the Author of life. Jesus’ final betrayal is from the people of Jerusalem. Just a week prior, many had desired to make Him their king. Yet, when tasked with freeing a Jewish prisoner from Roman captivity, they called for a murderer to be set free. Not only did they not select Jesus, but they cried out for His crucifixion. Which ultimately led to the final betrayal of Pilate who washed His hands in indifference toward Jesus’ life. Just as Adam, governor of the Garden of Eden, looked on as His wife sinned and partook in it himself, so did Pilate, the governor of the Jews, look on as the Jews crucify Jesus and partake in it Himself by giving them the soldiers to do it. 

At every step of the way, Jesus could have been saved from His passion, yet at every step of the way, Jesus experienced rejection. Jesus, whose unique love for others defined His life on Earth, was abandoned and rejected by all those He loved even though He had done nothing wrong. No one who could have saved Jesus cared for His life, and many of those closest to Him were too scared to try and advocate for His release or even be near Him in His suffering. The emotional toll must have been smothering. Yet, this was done as Jesus said, so that the scriptures could be fulfilled. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, Like one from whom you turn your face, spurned, and we held him in no esteem (Isaiah 53:3). In His rejection, Jesus takes on the abandonment and isolation caused by sin.

During His judgment and condemnation, Jesus begins to experience the physical sufferings of His passion when Pilate has Him flogged. To this point Jesus had been hit, possibly even beaten by the soldiers, but torturous physical pain began in the last leg of his passion. The flogging left him marred beyond human appearance (Isaiah 52:14). He was then adorned with a crown of thorns which was beaten into his head, piercing his skin and possibly His skull. He took up His heavy, rough wooden cross that dug into His open wounds as he walked about a mile of hilly, rocky terrain. After many insults, beatings, and collapses on hard rocky ground, He arrived at the place of His crucifixion. His clothes were torn off of Him, reopening all of the wounds that had congealed to them. Jesus then lays on the cross, stretches out His arms and feet, and spikes are driven into them to hold Him to the wood. Once stood upright, the weight of Jesus’ body hanging while His arms are nailed outstretched causes Him to suffocate due to His lungs not being able to expand and contract. To breathe, Jesus has to pull himself up, pressing against the nails for each breath. Jesus endures this agonizing torture for three hours until His work is accomplished, and He finally gives up His Spirit. 

As Jesus struggles for breath on the cross, we see all three forms of suffering converge in a final temptation for Jesus on the cross. Emotional suffering occurs with the jeers and taunts of the crowd and soldiers who were at the foot of the cross. Spiritual pain is present in the abandonment that Jesus feels on the cross. Finally, the physical suffering is apparent in the crucifixion, culminating with His death. His beaten, tired, exhausted body can no longer endure the pain of pressing against the nails and rubbing open wounds against the splinters of the cross. He cries out, submits His soul to God and His passion is finished (John 19:30). To make sure He is dead, a soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear and water and blood flowed from His side. Then Jesus is taken down and hastily laid in a new tomb. 
In His passion, Jesus was establishing a new covenant with His people which is accessible to us through the Eucharist. Every time that we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we are participating in the salvation that was won for us. His brokenness reaches to us so that we are not alone even when we attempt to separate ourselves from Him through our sin. Thus we can say to our God,  If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, there you are (Psalm 139:8). In the suffering of Jesus, there is no place we can go to run from His love. He is found in the depths enduring our brokenness with us so that one day we will rise with Him.