How can we describe the pain of guilt, of fear, of hurting for another’s suffering? This thing called anguish is so real, yet it is “just” a thought process. Physical pain we can understand because we can see the cause, but the inner torment of something that comes against what otherwise might be a peaceful condition of the mind, is unseen, although the effects of it may be visible.
What is the torment that will come against those who disbelieve, who are “caught” in their sin? Jesus says that this pain is very real. In another way he puts it that those who see they have been [are] excluded from the kingdom will “gnash their teeth”, such will be their distress.
But what of the pain that Jesus underwent for us? The reality has to be that he felt everything that people feel under these very same conditions. In other words, he experienced the hell that will be felt by those excluded from the kingdom.. [Some part of hell may be currently experienced by those presently not in the kingdom]. He experienced the fear that people experience. He experienced all that the human condition could throw at him, and he overcame it all. Otherwise he could not be a true sacrifice for sin.
He foresaw this in Gethsemane – he knew that all this would be his experience, and that when it came, he would not be able to understand why it came. It was in this condition on the cross that he cried “My God why have you abandoned me?”.
How deep the suffering of anguish, for whatever the reason. This condition is called “The wrath of God”. We may feel it on our own account, or feel it for another.. Jesus felt it all. His righteousness enabled him to overcome it. Those who are not “in him” will feel it also, but will not be able to overcome it.
How great the victory we have inherited from him, that we can now exercise faith in his overcoming on our behalf so that we can be fit to live with him.