Last week, we explored the greatness of Jesus as we looked at His life and earthly ministry, but we know His life ended abruptly as He carried out God’s plan to restore, renew, and repair our relationship with Him. Jesus was tried, sentenced, flogged, and crucified. Roman crucifixion was horrific, crafted to shame the victim and designed to send a clear message to the public – Rome is in charge, this is what happens to people who don’t comply. The crucified were stripped naked, nailed through the wrists to the cross, a practice which often dislocated both shoulders and made breathing nearly impossible. If death did not come as quickly as the Romans desired, the victims legs would be broken, either way, they eventually suffocated and succumbed to a heart attack.
His death demonstrated His great love for humanity as we read in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
His death paid the penalty for our sin, satisfying the wrath of God, paying the price of forgiveness. It is the reason He came to earth, fully God and fully man, to give His life, a fact to which He testifies in Matthew 20:28, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He gave His life to provide the way for men and women to be reconciled to God. Colossians 2:13-14 explains, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
Lastly, His death brought us to God (1 Peter 3:18) and gives us eternal life (John 3:36). May we, as we remember His death and what comes after, take comfort in this promise, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
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