The ultimate sacrifice for you and me.
This week, many of us are celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a very significant event in the history of the Christian Faith and that is why it is important for us to always remember this.
The death of Jesus Christ was excruciating. I cannot imagine the suffering, pain, humiliation, and isolation he felt. Can you imagine being beaten so badly? Can you imagine nails being put into your hands? Can you imagine being thirsty and hungry for hours? Can you imagine carrying a wooden cross on your back? Even if you cannot imagine this, well it happened to Jesus Christ, and he did it for us. He died to set us free from sin. What a sacrifice!
While on the cross, Jess made seven powerful statements which I will briefly comment on in this article.
- “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Despite being taken advantage and treated so meanly, Jesus still asked God to forgive them for what they have done. I believe this is a great example for us to live by. Forgive people no matter how they treat you. Jesus could have asked God to do anything to his tortures. He could have asked God to deal with them. He could have asked God to destroy them. He could have asked God to kill them. Instead, he asked God to forgive them. What about you?
- “I tell you the truth, today, you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Jesus was hung on the cross between two criminals. One of those criminals asked Jesus to remember and of course Jesus replied and said “I tell you the truth, today, you will be me in Paradise.” You see even on the cross, this dying criminal recognized Jesus and was given an opportunity to live in Paradise with Jesus. This act alone demonstrate that you too can have an opportunity even on your dying bed. However, you do not have to wait until you are dying because you can die suddenly so it is best now to ask Jesus to come into your heart.
- “Dear Woman, here is your son and to the disciple, here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
These words were to Mary, Jesus’ mom and to apostle John. Jesus was concerned about his mother and so he entrusted his mother in the care of his disciple. Even on the cross and in pain, Jesus has demonstrated so how we should be concern about his wellbeing of our parents. He did not put her into anybody’s hand but into the hands of someone that has demonstrated a commitment to God.
- “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
I believe as a human and particularly a born again Christian, when you go through pain and suffering, you feel that God has forsaken you. Perhaps these words are to demonstrate to us that he knows how we feel too when we are suffering. Sometimes we don’t think Jesus understands what we are going through, but he does.
It is a natural thing to feel forsaken at times but remember God said that he will never leave us or forsake us.
- “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Jesus Christ was dehydrated and exhausted and as a result he was physically thirsty and so he was expressing his thoughts. Again, this illustrates to us that he understands our hurt and pain. You see despite being the son of God, Jesus was also human like you and I and so he experienced some of the things that we experience as humans.
- It is finished (John 19:30)
I appreciate all of the seven statements that Jesus Christ made but my favourite statement is the sixth statement which is, “it is finished.” The debt was paid. He completed what he came to earth to do. He came to save me and you. Because of the death of Jesus Christ, we can all say it is finished.
- Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46)
Jesus now knew his time of crucifixion was over so he committed his spirit to Lord even in death. Of course, while on earth being alive, he did the same thing. You and I should commit to the Lord like Jesus did, both in life and in death.
Despite being betrayed by Judas, Jesus knew that he was going to die and he knew that he was going to rise again. It was the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. I thank God for the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I don’t know where I would have been and how I would be, had it not been for the death of Jesus.
I conclude by encouraging those of us who are already committed to the Lord, to continue to live for him. Those who are not committed yet, I hope after reading this article, you have an appreciation and an understanding of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made and if you do, I encourage you to commit to the Lord.