“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have LIFE in His name.” (20:31)
The long awaited, unconventional King died to save His people.
When people describe the crucifiction process, they never fail to mention the fatal aspect of affixation. Hanging in that position puts your body-weight’s pressure on your lungs. I’ve heard some pretty gruesome stories about how it must have been for Jesus, back ripped open from all the flogging, being scraped by the wood as He pushed himself up for a breath, against the nail in His feet. But this struggle is what prolongs the agony and was, undoubtedly, why the other two were still alive when the time to remove the bodies for the Sabboth came around. Jesus was already dead. No one needed to break His legs so He’d stop scrambling for oxygen. He didn’t go to the cross to fight for His life, He went there to die.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Pilate kept coaxing Jesus to speak up and save His own life, but He wasn’t there to plead, He was there to die.
When the Magi visited Jesus as a baby, they brought Him three prophetic gifts: Gold, because He was the rightful King of the Jews. Frankincense, because He would become our Great High Priest. Myrrh, a burial balm, because He was born into this world to die for it.
He became the ram, caught in the thicket, provided as a substitution for Isaac. He became the object of God’s wrath. All the wrath we deserve. We, mankind: serial killers, rapists, molesters, idolaters, fascist dictators, tantrum throwers, slanderers, traitors, thieves, liars, terrorists, zealous whores, insatiable, violent rebels. All the death we brought on ourself fell on Jesus and HE DID NOT FIGHT IT.
At the center of our Christian faith lies chapter 20: the empty tomb. He didn’t just come to die for our sins, He came to defeat the power death has over us and present to us LIFE.
“WHERE, O death, is your VICTORY? WHERE, O death, is your STING?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
HALLELUJAH! Merry Christmas everyone!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)