Christ Jesus died for me.
It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t supposed to be. Sacrifice never is.
Jesus sacrificed everything for me.
In fact, His whole life was designed to make sure that I got the chance for salvation.
Yes, you too, but He would have done it for me alone… or you alone.
You’re that important to Him.
He lived a sinless life.
He was flogged and beaten.
He allowed himself to be nailed to a cross to be executed – I say allowed because all of the hardships He suffered, He had to choose to go through them… He is God as man, you know…
And, on that cross, He took the blame and consequence for every sin I have ever done or will do.
Also, on that cross, He experienced separation from His Father, God.
When He gave up His spirit in death, He went to Hell – something I never want to experience…. it’s called Hell for a reason…
Best of all, which, if it hadn’t happened, all of the previous steps would have been a waste of time…
Then, HE ROSE!
That means that He beat hell and returned to His body that was lying in a tomb.
He was Resurrected!
Now, if you ponder all those steps, you realize how wonderful Jesus was.
Imagine living a sinless life…
Can you? I try, but even then, the thought of being in such control of every thought, every word, every action, every day… Well, it’s not something that I, myself can do. That’s why the Word states in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Since Adam and Eve, Man doesn’t have the ability to be sinless. We are imperfect. If we had the ability to be perfect in every way, this whole death and resurrection thing wouldn’t have been needed.
Have you ever heard about how nasty the floggings were back in the day?
Hebrew law restricted the number of strikes upon the body to 40, so Pharisees would do only 39 to be sure they never went over – a sin for the flogger, I guess… meaning he would have to be flogged as a result? It’s my guess the floggers could count pretty good.
Now that was the law for Hebrews doing the wet work, but the Romans were the ones that did Jesus’ flogging. Their requirement was simpler: leave ’em alive to be executed. How generous.
No one knows how many stripes Jesus took. The Word doesn’t say. But experts of that time period project that He received over 100, and, considering that the whip had multiple lashes with nasty bits attached at the ends… well… you get the picture. Watch Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ if you don’t.
Ever bump your head on something to the point that it raise a lump or drew blood? Stub your toe? Break a rib? Rip a fingernail?
I cracked a couple ribs once. Most painful thing I have ever endured. For weeks. And even with that, I am just a poser.
After having his skin reduced to shreds – dirt and sweat packed into every open wound – then they decided to use him as a punching bag. Now we know that Jesus was beaten for our healing (Isaiah 53:5). But the extent as to how bad it was is crazy. Beatings like this killed men- strong, healthy men. Since he was in a Roman garrison, we can assume that He was beaten by big, seasoned military men who were skilled warriors. They knew how to throw a punch. They had total disdain for this Hebrew “king” they had in their possession. It’s not like this opportunity comes by every day. I’m sure that the ‘King of the Jew’ phrase had circulated throughout the garrison, so… who doesn’t want to punch a king without consequences? There was probably a line.
Even worse, Jesus was a Jew. That usually means a beard. They pulled out his beard.
Have you ever pulled out a nose hair accidentally? Imagine that hundreds of times – after being flogged. Yeah, I can’t imagine it either.
Lastly, they make a crown out the spiniest, toughest, stiffest thorns they have and put it on his head. Then they hammer it down until the thorns poke into his skull – yeah, they have thorns that can do that…
Then, he had to walk, while carrying the horizontal beam of His cross, the patibulum, out to Golgotha, the hill where he would die. The walking alone probably was excruciating enough, but to have to carry a 100lb plus hunk of wood… At that point, even Jesus needed help(Luke 23:26). It goes to show the severity of his earlier day. His body was on the verge of collapse.
I can’t even imagine experiencing all of the above and surviving, much less hiking to my execution.
He was nailed to it. If that isn’t enough for you, go Google it.
But on that cross things that couldn’t happen any other way began to take place. He became sin. The scapegoat. Jesus took upon Himself and His body all the sins of the world. Things He had never succumbed to as a man, He now experienced the related shame, condemnation, worry, pain, loss, depression, and etc. that comes with sin. Worst of all, after being connected with God as part of the Trinity(Father-Son-Holy Spirit), He was, in effect, separated from God.
Imagine the death of a spouse of 15, 20, 25, or 50 years. You are connected. Imagine what you would do without that expected presence. The person who loves and cherishes you. Loves you regardless. Practically knows your thoughts. Think of the emptiness. Jesus felt that pain after being connected with God since the beginning of time. It was enough for him to cry out in anguish, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He despised sin. Now, being made sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him( Corinthians 5:21), He despised His own human self. There was nowhere to turn. No one to help. This cup was His and His only to drink from (Matthew 26:42). He had chosen to do His Father’s will. Thank God!
After he had given up his spirit and was pronounced dead, he was hastily buried – sundown was approaching, marking the start of the Sabbath, during which burials could not be performed. That means no bath, no ceremony, nothing. Pretty much an insult for a Jew, not that He cared at this point.
So, the morning after the Sabbath had ended – which means three days from Friday afternoon, thru Saturday the Sabbath, then Sunday morning – Mary and Mary Magdalene took the fixins needed to give a proper burial to the tomb where He had been placed. He wasn’t there! He even left an angel behind to let them know. That’s how considerate of a Man he is. (For more details, read the last couple chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.)
So what does the Resurrection of Jesus mean to me?
Most of all, the Resurrection tells me that God honors his promises!
He does not lie!
He is faithful!
He loves me so much that he deliberately arranged for the death of His sinless Son to die for MY sins so I could receive his saving grace!
My salvation is based completely upon the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.
Without the pivotal choice to follow the will of His Father… there would be no forgiveness.
Without the Resurrection, it’s all a waste of time.
Without the Resurrection, there is no Hope.
Without the Resurrection I am nothing.
Who would I be without Christ?
I never want to know.
He bore my sins.
I am saved by the grace of God because of the covering blood that Jesus shed.
It is a gift I cannot forget.
For that, I am grateful and long for the day when I see his face… and thank him personally.