I don't understand what Jesus' suffering on the cross has to do with our salvation. After all, lots of people have suffered just as much as He did, or even a lot worse. — N.H.
Death by crucifixion was one of the most painful experiences imaginable, and Jesus' suffering on the cross was far more agonizing that anything most of us will ever have to endure.
But Jesus' physical suffering was only a sign of a much deeper kind of suffering He was enduring: the suffering of His spirit. When Jesus died, the face of His heavenly Father was hidden, and He was torn from the presence of God. He who had enjoyed unbroken fellowship with His Father in heaven from all eternity now faced Hell itself. This was His real agony—an agony far deeper than that which any other person has ever endured.
Why did He have to endure so much suffering? The reason is because all our sins were placed on Him, and when He suffered and died He was taking upon Himself the punishment we deserve. You and I only deserve judgment and hell—but He took our judgment and hell upon Himself. The Bible says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us" (2 Corinthians 5:21). He took your place!
Why did He do this? He did it because of love! He loves us, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Sin is serious—so serious that it sent Jesus to the cross. But God's love is greater, and because of Jesus' death and resurrection we can be saved. Turn to Christ and accept Him into your life today.