Few things solemnize the finality of death like making funeral arrangements and choosing a coffin, or arranging the details of a memorial service. Death comes to all; Good Friday reminds us of that grim reality.
Like the narratives of Christ's birth, the accounts of His crucifixion and resurrection are so familiar that we can miss the full intensity of the unexpected event. Though Jesus warned His disciples, they were not at all prepared for the trauma of His death or the shock of His resurrection. Because we know the outcome, it's hard for us to identify with what they must have felt.
Although we may wish we could have been present at Jesus' birth, who wishes to have seen His cruel, torturous death? Few want to read the details of what He suffered. We've sanitized Easter with aromatic lilies and colourful eggs.
But we must know exactly why the Father let His Son hang on the cross and why Jesus chose not to escape it. We need to grasp the glory of His resurrection. What blending of love and power can we see in these events? It's almost as if Jesus could hear the tearful praises of future believers singing:
My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho't—
My sin—not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!1
We hope these resources will help you better understand what really happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead, why there was no other alternative, and why it makes all the difference today!
¹Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
We dare not allow Easter to pass without sufficiently rejoicing in and declaring our hope. It is Jesus Christ—the miraculously resurrected Son of God—who remains the object of our worship and the subject of our praise.
In John 20:24–30, John described the stirring scene when Jesus appeared to His disciples—except for Thomas—following His Resurrection. Naturally, they were huddled in a closed room in fear for their lives.
The Devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but the forces of evil are breathing their last. So there’s no need to worry...He has risen! He has risen, indeed!
Had Christ not taken a drastic step, sinners like us would’ve never survived the fall. We would never have been rescued. We would be permanently lost. The cross was God’s incredible response to our extreme dilemma. Christ did something radical.
If there’s no hope, there’s no spring. But because there IS hope, the winter you’re enduring will end.
The shining light of Christ’s gospel is the hope of Resurrection for all who believe in His name. Two principles emerge from Christ’s miraculous Resurrection.
This year, it’s this careful balance of guilt and relief I’m pondering. I’m contemplating the injustice of being saved from my sin without deserving it in the slightest.
Because Jesus triumphed over Satan through the cross, and we are in Him, we are no longer under Satan’s control, rule, or authority. We are beyond his reach forever.