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SUBJECT: His Cross and Resurrection

Many gruesome things can be said about crucifixion. Performed by Romans, crucifixion was a brutal death sentence for mostly slaves, disgraced soldiers, and foreigners. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ the very Son of God, and guilty of nothing, experienced this vicious death. What would we have witnessed if we had been in Jerusalem during the days of Jesus’ crucifixion and His resurrection? Let’s imagine
Walking along a narrow stone street lined with markets, we encounter a large crowd of people, many yelling “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” Peering over peoples’ heads we see a man stumble to His knees as He struggled to carry a wooden crossbeam to His own crucifixion. This man is Jesus!

We quickly notice the horrific condition of this man. He is a mass of bleeding flesh. Upon His head is a crown of thorns, causing blood to ooze down his face. His back is riddled with lash marks, and hanging strips of skin reveal deep, bloody wounds due to a vicious flogging. As we approach Golgotha, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, we watch as the crowd laughed at and spit on Him. We recoil at the awful sounds of the hammer striking nails into Jesus’ hands, and wince as nails are driven through His feet! Once the cross beam is secured on a tall post, we observe Jesus attempt to lift himself up to relieve His unbearable and excruciating pain. We watch Him struggle to breathe, while hateful comments are hurled at Him. We notice the blood from His hands and feet dripping onto the ground below the cross.

We hear Roman soldiers laughing at the foot of the cross as they gambled for Jesus’ garments. We witness a man offer vinegar to Jesus to drink, and watch another man thrust his sword into Jesus’ side. Shortly, we hear Jesus cry out, “It is finished”, and He gave up the ghost.

As Jesus’ body was taken from the cross to be placed into a sepulcher, we watch as the people, including the chief priests, teachers and elders, nonchalantly walk away, totally unfazed by Jesus’ suffering. These people were also unfazed by any suggestion that this man Jesus would arise from the grave.

Leaving Golgotha, we catch snippets of peoples’ conversations. People were laughing about the rumor that Jesus would arise from the tomb in three days. Intrigued by such talk, we discussed if briefly, but within minutes we readily dismissed what we had heard.

A few days later we hear a couple talking about the same subject we had overheard at Golgotha days earlier. The woman was quite animated as she told the person with whom she was with that Jesus had arisen from the tomb and that a woman named Mary Magdalene had actually witnessed the empty tomb. We listened as she told of two of Jesus’ disciples named Peter and John, standing inside Jesus’ empty tomb and witnessing Jesus’ burial clothes neatly lain, as if Jesus had ascended right through them. This woman even said that many people had seen this man. Upon hearing this conversation, I was shocked, and wondered who was this man called Jesus?

Now, back to the present. Thanks to God’s infallible Word we know who Jesus is! He is the only begotten (sole) Son of God (John 3:16), and His physical resurrection is the very foundation of salvation, and here’s why!
Jesus’ resurrection provides proof of His identity. Jesus, being totally man AND God, displayed total power over death; a power that only the Creator of life (Genesis 1 and 2) could perform! A power no human being could ever possess. Thusly, only the Son of God has the power to forgive us of our sins. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:4)

Jesus’ physical resurrection also proves the Gospel to be TRUE. Paul wrote, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scripture;, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:.”(I Corinthians 15:3,4) Over 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus after His resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:6,7) In essence, Jesus was crucified, buried, arose from the tomb, and appeared before many!

It is imperative to believe in Jesus’ resurrection or there can be no hope, no forgiveness, no eternal life. If Jesus had merely died, having no victory over death, He would have been just like us, mere mortals, having no power over death, having no power over sin. “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (I Corinthians 15:16) Hallelujah, Jesus DID arise, being victorious over death! ! JESUS LIVES!

Are you like those who watched Jesus suffer? Are you guilty of nonchalantly walking away from the Son of God? (John 3:16,17) Are you guilty of refusing to understand who Jesus truly is? Are you indifferent toward Jesus’ agonizing pain and horrific death? Do you reject Him? Do you scoff at His victory over death? (I Corinthians 15:1-8; Matthew 28:1-8)

Thankfully, it isn’t too late to reject false religious doctrines which lead away from the truth of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, and thusly, away from everlasting life! It isn’t too late to recognize how much God hates sin or to recognize just how much He loves each of us! (Romans 5:8; John 3:16) When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He was proclaiming that each person’s sin debt owed to His Father, had been paid, paid in full, if one believes! (John 3:15) For as long as one has breath, it is never too late to place one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Terrifyingly, for the unbeliever, one day it will be!
“And these (unbelievers) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous (believers) into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46) These words weren’t spoken by anyone, but Jesus Christ!

Nancy Hamilton

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