Today is Good Friday, and we focus on Jesus’ Crucifixion today. Mark 15:33-41 focuses on the last moments on the Cross. I encourage you to read the whole section of Mark from Chapter 14 to Chapter 16. This gives us the story from the Chief Priests and Scribes plot to kill Jesus to His resurrection.
As we think about what Jesus did for us, I think it’s good to understand that, yes, Jesus died for the whole world, but we need to realize He died for each one of us. We can take a verse like John 3:16 and personalize it by putting our name in it. “For God so loved (put your name here), that He gave His only begotten Son, that if (your name) believeth in Him (your name) should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Each one of us can say, “Jesus died for ME! It was MY sins that put Him on the Cross. It was His love for ME that made Him sacrifice Himself to pay the death penalty for MY sins.”
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, the whole of humanity was condemned. Therefore, when we are born, we are born with a sinful nature (Romans 3:23). God loves us so much that He planned a way for us to escape the Spiritual death penalty brought about by our sins. He sent Jesus to earth as a baby, to live life here, experience life as a human being – yet He lived a sinless life so that He could be the perfect sacrifice. He was tempted in the same areas we are tempted in; He knows what it feels like to be human and face difficulties. He was God and yet He was a man. He put away His Glory to live as a man that felt pain, got tired, was hungry, and much more. “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 NIV)
We can’t understand exactly what Jesus endured. If you have ever seen the movie, The Passion of the Christ, the depiction of His Crucifixion was most likely close to what He had to suffer! The Bible says that after Jesus was beaten and whipped with a cat-of-nine-tails, He was almost unrecognizable! “…his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness…” (Isaiah 52:14 NIV) He was betrayed by Judas, forced to carry His own Cross, He was mocked, spit upon, denied by Peter, and eventually God the Father had to turn away because Jesus carried the sins of the whole world upon Himself, and Jesus was all alone and He did it all because of His love for us.
Because of what Jesus did, we can have hope. We can have eternal life. We don’t have to pay the penalty for our own sins because He took our place. But it requires surrender on our part. Surrender to God, giving up our old life, asking Jesus to forgive us of our sins, accepting His sacrifice for us, then living for Him completely. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV) When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB)
Jesus is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (NASB 1995) Jesus is a gentleman, He doesn’t barge His way into our lives, He gently asks, “May I come in?”
When we decide to ask Him to save us, we will find that it is the best decision we’ve ever made. He becomes our best friend and walks with us through everything. We are never alone, and He loves us more than anyone! We can rejoice because we know our sins have been forgiven and we are free! There’s an old song that says, “He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed Someone to take my sins away. But now I sing a brand-new song, Amazing Grace! Christ Jesus paid a debt He did not owe!”
Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for dying for me!