Jump Start # 3069
1 Corinthians 15:4 “and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Every spring there is Easter. That is the time when the world tips it’s hat to an empty tomb in Jerusalem long ago. For a brief moment, people think about the resurrected Jesus. Easter passes and life goes on and Jesus is forgotten. For the N.T. Christian, resurrection Sunday is not a time called “Easter.” It’s every Sunday. Every Sunday that death is remembered. Every Sunday that horrific scene is revisited. Every Sunday thoughts are taken to the perfect sacrifice and pure blood that paid the price for our freedom from Satan. Not at Easter, but every Sunday. It never gets old. It never becomes a tradition. It is never routine.
Have you considered how Jesus died? Not medically, but practically.
Jesus died openly. We sing the hymn, “On a hill far away…” And “far away,” can seem so far that it is out of sight and out of mind. But a crowd was gathered when Jesus died. People looked. Some mocked. There were enough there to know that indeed Jesus died. His death wasn’t behind closed doors. It was witnessed by a special handpicked audience.
Jesus died painfully. Jesus was young and strong. But the blood loss, the scourging, the nails brought such intense trauma that within a few hours Jesus was dead. He died without someone holding His hand. He died without someone putting a cool washcloth to his forehead. He died without someone speaking kind words to Him. Romans didn’t use the cross for Romans. They had swifter and more humane ways of putting Romans to death. The cross was a statement. It was intended to be gruesome to look at and a form of slow torture. Kindness wasn’t found at crosses. Painful. Slow. Harsh. It was Rome’s way of saying, “Don’t mess with us.” Historians say that major roads leading into Rome were often lined with crosses. It was a sign for visitors. There were living billboards that no one wanted to look at. “You better behave, or ELSE.” Screaming, cursing, pitiful pleas were common from those hanging on crosses. Ears were silent. No hope, nor help was coming. People watched as time ticked on and the soul departed from the lifeless execution.
Jesus died Scripturally. That’s the point of our passage today. The O.T. pointed to that death. The writings of the apostles looked back to that death. And, the Gospels show us the full extent of that death. Major sections of the Gospels are devoted to that final week leading to the cross. Jesus knew He would die that way. Jesus knew what the prophets had said. God’s eternal plan pivoted upon the cross of Jesus. Satan was told this in the garden. The prophets anticipated it. Jesus knew the hour was coming. He died according to the Scriptures.
Jesus died for you. That is the most remarkable thing. God’s love is illustrated with a cross. It was the cross that extends God’s open arms to you. The cross did what you could not. The cross made everything right. The cross was for everyone. It is for those we like and those we don’t like. It is for those who we want in Heaven and those we hope may not make it to Heaven. It is not based upon wealth, education, nationality, status, or accomplishments. It’s for the good people as well as the bad people. It’s for those who have little to forgive and those who have much to be forgiven.
This is why the direction of the great commission is into all the world and to every person. That means every nation, including Russia. That means every city. That means every street. That means every house. That means every person in that house. No one is left out. No one is excluded. No one is too good nor too bad for the redeeming blood of Jesus.
The grand multitude surrounding the throne in Revelation 7 are those who have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Every nation. Every language. Jesus died for all. Jesus died for you.
Do I preach about the resurrection at Easter time? I do. People are thinking about it. I want to emphasize Biblically what happened. I hope that people will think about it not just in the Spring, but every day, all the time.
Up from the grave He arose…