The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I will die…. Our salvation is “from outside ourselves.” I find salvation not in my own life story, but only in the story of Jesus Christ. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Here’s what was happening on the cross: God was punishing His own Son as if he had committed every wicked deed done by every sinner who would ever believe. And He did it so that He could forgive and treat those redeemed ones as if they had lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness. – John MacArthur
With every blow of the mallet, the judgment of the world fell on just one man. Hanging there between heaven and earth, Jesus became the sole reconciling force between God and every human being who would ever live. With his own blood, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and drew us all back under the covering of grace. – Michael Card
Christians’ preoccupation with the suffering and death of Jesus can seem odd to outsiders. After all, no other faith thinks of the death of its founder the way Christians think about the death of Jesus. Muslims don’t remember the death of Mohammed (or Buddhists the death of Gautama or Jews the death of Moses) the way Christians regard the death of Jesus.
But the close attention that we pay to the death of Jesus is not our idea. Jesus encouraged us to attend diligently to his death, to think about it often and carefully.
Jesus talked about his death for months before it happened. He boldly predicted – repeatedly, and with increasing detail – that he would die at the hands of evil men. Then, at that last Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus told them to remember his death with those emblems of the broken bread – which symbolized his broken body – and the wine – which symbolized the blood that he spilled. Then he died exactly as he said he would, broken and humiliated at the hands of evil men.
Since then, Christians have always thought deeply and carefully about the death of Jesus.
That’s because we know that the death of Jesus has implications that are literally cosmic: Jesus bore the weight of the sins of the world.
Somehow in a finite period of time, Jesus endured the eternal punishment that should have fallen on all of us.
Somehow, his death has leveled the mountain of our sins.
Somehow, his death makes peace for us with the Holy One.
Prayer: Thank you, dear Jesus, for submitting the will of your Father, for giving up your life, for allowing evil men to break your body and spill your blood, for enduring the shame, abandonment, and rejection that rightly should be mine. I can never repay you for your amazing and kindly grace.