Stephanie looks at the death of Jesus, the horrors of crucifixion, and our possible responses. She points out the need for the gift of faith to help us understand the significance of Christ’s death.
The Death of Jesus
In the previous post, we talked about Jesus’ expression of love for His mother by appointing the disciple John as her son, the one who would, from that time on, be responsible to take care of her.
The following verses, John 19:28-37 (ESV), read like this:
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they have pierced.’”
There are few people who deny Jesus of Nazareth walked the Earth. There is ample evidence that He did.
However, there are many who believe He was just like everyone else. They don’t believe He ever performed miracles, and they certainly don’t believe He was the Son of God.
And then there are those who believe He was “a good man.” But when you read the accounts of what He said and did, if He was not the Saviour, He had delusions of grandeur at the very least.
There are those who believe, if He was the Son of God, He would not—He could not—die. Even if He was crucified, they claim, He simply lost consciousness and revived when He was placed in the cool tomb.
The Horrors Of Crucifixion
Yesterday I mentioned a few of the horrific realities of crucifixion. Add to that the fact that Jesus was severely beaten before being hung on the cross and blood and water poured out when the spear was thrust into His side, and what is known as “the swoon theory” makes no sense.
Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
In Matthew 27:15, we read, “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”
My husband theorizes that the earth trembled because its Creator died and for the briefest of moments was no longer holding creation together. It’s just a theory, but it is something to consider.
The Son of God
And what did those who witness these events think. Well, Matthew 27:54 goes on to say, “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’”
Faith Is A Gift From God
An examination of the evidence is a good place to start, but we must always remember what it says in Ephesians 2:8, that faith is a gift from God.
We cannot muster up God-honouring faith no matter how much we study the historic evidence, though that research may very well point us in the right direction. We must ask God to reveal the truth to us. We must study God’s Word, the Bible, because Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Jesus of Nazareth became sin for us. He, indeed, died on Calvary. And the effects of that truth will be felt for all eternity.
Are you willing to investigate the facts? Are you willing to ask God to reveal the truth and give you the gift of faith? Will you do so today?
If you have enjoyed reading this post and wish to send us a comment or share a prayer request, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.
Images courtesy of:
Davallament De La Creu – Joanbanjo
Christ’s Death – Carl Heinrich Bloch