This post is part of a 6-part series leading up to Easter service on April 16th. Click the inline Easter banner below for more details.
Part 3 can be found here – > Judas and Peter: The Difference Between Shame and Grace || Part 5 can be found here -> The Veil is Torn
It’s Sunday, and Jesus is riding into Jerusalem. The people are applauding him, shouting, “Hosanna!” and praising God that their King has finally come.
By Friday, they will cry out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” You’ve probably seen “Passion of the Christ” or another Bible show or movie depicting the crucifixion. You have an idea of the visual of the beatings, the thorns, the nails, and the crown.
But do we understand why?
The Law of Moses has been very clear- the only way to cover sin and become righteous is the sinless sacrifice. Our sin puts us at odds with God- you are the object of His wrath. For you and I to be reconciled to God, we needed for God to work toward that reconciliation.
We need to come to terms with the death of Christ and how it divinely displays the inadequacy of man and the glory of God. Isaiah explains that “your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)”
If our sin has separated us from God, then how can we be reconciled?
God needed to come to man, intervene with a perfect sacrifice, and reconcile us to Him. We, in our sinful state, would never been able to bring ourselves to God. So, in His infinite wisdom and grace, God sent Christ to bear that wrath that belonged to us, heal us, and reconcile us to God. Isaiah even foreshadowed how it would happen: “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)”
So why did Jesus die?
Only God has the authority and the power to bring us to him, and in order to fulfill the law, Christ came to lay himself down on our behalf.
Christ stands before Pilate, who is visibly stressed by the situation. The Jews have risen up, demanding that this man be killed. Pilate wrings his hands, pacing his chambers, eyeing Jesus.
“I find no guilt in him,” he mutters again and again, trying to figure out a way to appease the crowds but to also display to Rome he still controls the territory.
“Where are you from?” he demands.
The man stands silent. Pilate stares, hearing the bustling of the crowds and the anger of the leaders outside.
Enraged, Pilate demands an answer. “Speak to me! Do you not know I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.”
And nine hours later, after the beating, mocking, nails, and crown, Jesus Christ spoke with authority as God and said, “It is finished.”