“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” – Matthew 28:6
Palm Sunday has just passed. The day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on top of a donkey as the people praised Him as the King of the Jews. They thought He had come to remove them from the control of the Romans like Moses had freed them from the Egyptians. How fitting would it be as they prepare to celebrate the Feast of Passover that they would receive a new king to lead them out of slavery once again? Little did they know He was really there to free them from sin.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God” – John 13:1-3
Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. He knew that Satan was plotting against Him, at least so Satan thought. Really Satan was just playing his role in God’s plan. He knew He would be spit upon. He knew that He would be beaten. He knew He would be lashed. He knew that He would be crucified. And yet He did nothing to stop it.
“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him” – Luke 23:33
Remember what crucifixion is like. It is not just a way to kill someone, it was intended as a long torturous punishment ended by death.. That is why we get our word excruciating from it. Why would Jesus subject himself to this unwarranted brutal treatment and death if He is the Son of God and could stop it? Because He loves us.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:16-17
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” – Matthew 27:50-54
After Jesus died like a man He was placed in the tomb of a man. Many people forgot who Jesus really was, they began to think of Him like a simple man. They forgot His words, they forgot Him telling them that all of this would happen. They were stricken with grief at the physical loss of Him, and they were missing the point that His death would bring them freedom.
“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, “The son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”’” – Luke 24:1-7
HE IS RISEN! My Savior is not dead, He is alive. He has beaten death. How amazing is it that He is the only man to ever have beaten death. In many places you will hear Jesus being called the High Priest, why is that? According to the Law of Moses the priests of the tribe of Aaron were required to make an animal sacrifice to make atonement for the people’s and the priest’s sin. While this sacrifice was made in faith to the Father it was not enough because all those involved in making the sacrifice were sinful. Jesus was free from sin. Therefore He was not required to make a sacrifice, but He willingly sacrificed His life for all of man kind. He gave His life for the sins of all the world. How awesome is that!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
When Jesus bore our sins on the cross at Calvary He paid the price for you and me. But three days later He rose from the grave. Death, Satan did not prevail. We are free from the chains of sin. All we must do is put our faith in Jesus Christ. When we do that we are set free. The troubles of this world no longer matter. We are no longer slaves of our flesh and we can begin to truly live life. Remember it is never too late to call on the name of Jesus. While Jesus was hanging on that cross one of the thieves sentenced to death for his crimes found the greatness of the love of Jesus Christ.
“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” – Luke 23:39-43
If you haven’t already accepted Jesus Christ as your savior don’t delay. What gift can you give to the One who died to set you free other than your life? As we celebrate the sacrifice that He made on the cross, and the miracle of His resurrection three days later, call out to the One who set you free, Jesus. It is that simple. Call out to Him and you will be saved from death and you will live eternally with Him in Paradise.
God bless you all and have a wonderful Resurection Day!
Your brother in Christ,