SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to His own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” – Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV.
Tomorrow, 10th April, 2020 is Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On that day, over two thousand years ago, Jesus was crucified in a very cruel way. It was a painful death but it was also dramatic, symbolic and fulfillment of prophecy. On that day darkness covered the earth for three hours! And the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the rest of the Temple was torn into two, from top to bottom so that we could have complete access to God. Jesus by His suffering on the cross, bridged the gap between us and the Holy God.
What is the meaning of His death and what does it manifest?
1. The Cross Manifests God’s Love:
But God demonstrated His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8 (NIV)
2. The Cross Manifests God’s Justice:
“…We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty (we are justified). He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times. And He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus” – Romans 3:21-26 (NLT)
3. The Cross Manifests the Wisdom and Power of God:
“I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never find Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save to save all who believe. God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. This “foolish’ plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength” – 1 Cor. 1:18 -25 (NLT)
4. The Cross Manifests the Victory of God Over the Forces of Evil:
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ” – Col. 2:13-15; Heb. 14:15; 2 Tim. 1:10 (NLT)
REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.