Over this week since the Easter weekend, I have been contemplating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for us.
While Jesus hung on the cross, many of those observing mocked and ridiculed him.
“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
-Matthew 27:42 ESV
Was this true? Was He incapable of saving Himself?
What they did not realize was that, even at that moment when He appeared weak in their eyes, He was in complete control of His situation and circumstances, as well as every individual and event leading up to His crucifixion.
Repeatedly throughout the Gospels, the writers describe Jesus’ actions as deliberate to fulfill what the prophets foretold and recorded in the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus was the author of the scriptures, the creator from before the world existed. He planned every aspect of his life, death, and resurrection and foretold of his coming in advance that we could recognize him.
Jesus could have come down from the cross at any time and saved Himself, but that was not His plan. Nothing stopped him from removing himself from the pain and suffering he endured except His love for us. Doing so would have meant forfeiting humanity to eternal damnation. He went to the cross because He loved us and chose to die to save us from that fate.
We cannot save ourselves. None of us are righteous in God’s sight. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are deserving of punishment. There is nothing that we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. Scripture teaches that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. But no earthly sacrifice is sufficient to cleanse a single individual, much less the entire human race. Only the infinite sacrifice of the Son of God can satisfy the requirements of the law against sin. Jesus emptied Himself to be born as a human yet remaining fully God.
There is much that we do not understand about the incarnation of Christ and the triune nature of God. But scripture teaches that there is one God, existing as a trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus humbled Himself by taking the form of a servant. Nonetheless, although fully human, He preserved His deity and all attributes therein contained within the triune-Godhead.
God’s love for us drove Him to the cross. Had He saved Himself, He would have saved no one else. It was His choice to die for the salvation of mankind.
He was beaten, mocked, and scorned on His way to the cross and as He hung to die. But three days later, He arose victoriously, defeating sin and death.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, we too can have victory over sin in our lives when we place our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus. Jesus sacrifice opens the door for us to enter into a personal relationship with the Father and receive His forgiveness.
The end of the world is coming. Don’t wait until it is too late to make a decision that will impact your eternal destiny. Come to Jesus today and live with eternity in view.
Your life depends on it.