Sunday, April 09, 2017

It Is Finished

We are celebrating the Resurrection next week. In the timeline of events, of course, the Crucifixion occurred first. When else did such horror produce such good?

You know the story. You know about His betrayal -- Judas's kiss -- and arrest. You know of His trial. Before they put Him to death, they performed all sorts of cruelty. There were the false witnesses and the scourgings, the beatings and the blood. There were the crown of thorns, the whipping, the robe. It was more than we can imagine. And Scripture says, "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth." (Isa 53:7) There is no record of Jesus ever crying out through it all.

Then came the Crucifixion. They forced Him to carry His own instrument of death to the place of execution, something He couldn't complete because of the torture He endured. There they stripped Him naked and drove spikes into His hands and feet and lifted Him up to the abuse of all. Even one of those crucified with Him taunted Him. Here is one point where Jesus is recorded to cry out. It is when He experienced the worst torment possible. Not the physical horrors, but that single moment when He became sin for us and His Father turned His back on Him. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt 27:46)

Jesus's final words from the cross were most amazing. "It is finished." (John 19:30) He died there. More accurately, He "gave up His spirit." He died by choice.

It is, then, an astounding outcome from a horrendous event. "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor 5:21) The Father forsook His Son as the worst possible thing that could happen to His Son in order that we might "become the righteousness of God." In this, "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8) Jesus paid it all, a supreme act of love, the outcome of which we might be saved.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

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