The day of Easter comes nearer as Jesus is placed on the cross.
But, in three days He rises again after taking on our sin so that we may live.
The continuing story of Easter is told by Mark and other apostles in the New Testament.
It shows how Christ died on the cross, took our sins upon himself, and gave the hope of everlasting life to all people who believe in him.
When Good Friday comes this year, take a moment to remember what Jesus did for you – and me.
Easter Story – The Death and Burial of Jesus Christ
“Now it was the third hour when they crucified Him.
The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
And they crucified two rebels with Him, one on His right and one on His left.
Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself by coming down from the cross!”
In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself!
Let this Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.” – Mark 15:25-32 (NASB)
The Crucifixion of Christ and the Meaning of the Cross
Jesus did not have to suffer on the cross. He could have chosen to save himself.
But, in saving himself, we’d remain lost and would spend eternity separated from God.
This point reminds me of verses in Romans 6:22-23 ..
“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NASB)
What Christ Did
Jesus took on death and sin because He loved us so much and did not want us condemned forever.
We should be extra careful not to belittle what Christ did for us on the cross.
What We Do
For our part of the covenant we only have to confess our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.
If we only take that step, the sins we have committed died on the cross with Him.
God is a mighty God so let’s pray right now and thank Him earnestly for the unthinkable thing He did for us; not because we deserve it — but because He loves us.
Jesus is Buried
“When evening had already come, since it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself also waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
Now Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead.
And after learning this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been cut out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were watching to see where He was laid.” – Mark 15:42-47 (NASB)
How Christ was Laid in the Tomb
After Jesus died on the cross, he was laid in the tomb, furnished by Joses, a man who believed.
The lesson also covers the great providence of forgiveness and how God will treat us when we stand before Him on judgment day.
Jesus died. He did not simply pass out. He did not just pretend to be crucified in some plot to fool Pilate.
He was not in some sort of state of suspended animation.
Christ Died on the Cross!
He died for you and me so that we would not have to suffer the pain of eternal death.
Even though we are not worthy, He died so that our sins would be forgiven and forgotten by God.
How can God Forget?
This means that, once we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, it is as if our sins never happened.
There are no “big” or “little” sins – just sin.
Here is what happens after we receive the promise of forgiveness …
When we stand before God on that day, we can say;
“I am a sinner but Jesus is standing in for me today. He is my Lord and Savior and will atone that I am pure.”
The Power of the Cross
Please don’t take the power of the cross lightly.
Let’s reflect what Jesus did for us.
Jesus Died and, for a moment, the light went out.
Our Savior was dead — Crucified on the cross mercilessly!
The centurion confirmed it.
Joses buried him and rolled a stone across the tomb entrance.
The disciples were heartbroken — their Rabbi was gone!
But, this is not the end of the story!
To be continued …
Love in Christ
If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to look at John 3:16.
*The Power of the Cross sang by Kristyn Getty