John 19:30 (NIV)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus’ pain and abuse and death on that cross was because of me… because of you… because we chose to turn away from God and go our own way. Jesus died instead of us, because the death of a perfect sacrifice was the only way to restore us to perfect fellowship and healing with God Our Father.
The sins we commit, even those we take so lightly cost Jesus His life. It is wonderful to know that when we confess our sins, God will cleanse and forgive us.
Reading the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion today, we have the benefit of knowing that it’s all leading up to the triumph of Easter. But to the Jesus-followers present at the scene, it must have seemed that the world as they knew it was falling apart.
It is difficult to empathize with its participants of that first Good Friday. From our perspective, the Easter crowds seem insanely fickle; Jesus’ disciples seem utterly clueless; the members of the Sandhedrin contemptibly evil; Pilate laughably corrupt.
Those things are true. Nobody except Jesus behaves well in the Good Friday story. But it’s these very people—fickle, clueless, evil, corrupt—that Jesus died for.
The truth is that we have much in common with the fools and villains of Easter. The wonder is that Jesus loved them, and us, enough to submit to foolishness, injustice, and death. The miracle is that three days later, he rose from the dead to offer us salvation. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Sometimes we need to be reminded of Grace, and sometimes we need to be reminded of the weight of our sin, and of the value and high cost of our forgiveness that came our way that first Easter.
Dear Lord, we thank You for what You went through so that we may have complete forgiveness for our sins. Help us never take that lightly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.