When Jesus is standing before His disciples after His resurrection, in the midst of their confusion and sadness—which turned to wonder, and will turn to glory. He opened their minds to explain the greatest truth ever told. “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer…” Luke 24:46
In this verse just a few words have such world-changing implications. “The Christ” is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One sent to save the world! And He would not be sent as a conquering King, but rather as a suffering servant, as a suffering Saviour. The plans of God are so far from the ideas of man.
Christ was sent to earth to suffer and die. But why? He had to die because payment had to be made for the sins of man. The problem with humans is we sin—every single one of us—and the problem with sin is that it separates us from God. Sin is so devastating because it creates a permanent wedge between God and mankind, and there is no hope apart from God, there is no life apart from God. Death is the reality of every person who has ever lived, separation from God forever, ruined in destruction to the consequences of our sin.
You see, this is what the world must wake up to. Our problem is not the economy, our problem is not the environment, or a lack of world peace, our biggest problem by far is the reality and consequences of our sin! Even more devastating is that there’s nothing we can do about it. We have no answer to the problem of our sin. God demands perfection as payment for sin and we’re not perfect! No matter how hard we try, no matter how many good deeds we do, no matter how moral we think we are, we will never be perfect. We will never satisfy the requirements of God.
Jesus had to die because God required payment for our sins, and because God is just and holy He cannot compromise on His standards. But does God love—He loves so much He sent His Son to die in our place!
This is why the garden of Gethsemane captures my hearts and my emotions. Jesus Christ, being fully human and fully God, experiences the feelings that we would feel. He agonizes over His reality on the cross, He sweats drops of blood at anguish of what is to come, He pleads with His Father in prayer, “Father if you are willing remove this cup from me…” (Luke 22:42) The cup is the wrath of God. Jesus does not agonize over the nails, He agonizes over our sin. It’s this weight that torments Jesus, but after praying for the cup to be removed He says, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done!”
One author eloquently sets the scene, “There is silence from heaven, the Father does not answer His Son!” Because there was no other way. God’s Son had to die for you and for me! Can you fathom the love?
This is the good news—now enters the mercy, the overwhelming grace and love of God! Now enters the Son of God, the PERFECT Son of God, the Lamb, the Sacrifice, the Hope of the world. Jesus is the Messiah, He is the Anointed One, and He was sent to die for the sins of man! So you see the necessity of the cross, so you see the forgiveness in the cross, and God’s love in the power of the cross!
This week we encourage you to share your prayer requests with our church family and worship with us in an attitude of reflection and reverence for the cross. Click the buttons below to see the prayer wall or listen to our Holy Week playlist.