2nd & 3rd April
“Jesus fully realised all that was going to happen to Him, so He stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” He asked. “Jesus, the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am He”…As Jesus said “I am He,” they all drew back and feel to the ground.”
I remember the first time I realised that Jesus died for me personally was at a communion service. I was sitting on my dad’s lap and he was explaining to me why Jesus died for me. I think I must have been around 8 years old. As soon as he had finished telling me, I started crying because I knew that I didn’t deserve someone dying for me, even at that young age. So often on Good Friday around the world we can feel that same sadness because an innocent Man had to die to pay for our debt.
However, the reality is, is that if Jesus did not go ahead with what He came to Earth to do, then there would be no salvation, no forgiveness of sins, and no personal relationship with the Father. We wouldn’t know who we are in Christ, we wouldn’t know the purpose as to why we are on this Earth and we wouldn’t have a reason to bring joy, light and hope into a dark and needy world. It is because Jesus died that we can rejoice in His death. It may sound contradictory to rejoice in someone’s death, but the truth is that Jesus had to die and it is a great thing He did.
John, in His depiction of Jesus’ last hours, tells us that Jesus was fully ready to embrace the forthcoming torture, beatings and inevitable death sentence. He writes that when the angry mob came to arrest Jesus, Jesus didn’t run away or hide in the olive grove. He stepped forward and embraced His adversities. He was prepared for what was about to come. The writer of Hebrew even describes that Jesus knew the joy that awaited His endurance of that shameful death on the cross.
If Jesus knew that His death would set humanity free from the debt of their sin and was joyful about enduring the suffering for our sakes, then we should also rejoice with Him and not mourn. He died but now He is alive. Rejoice the King died but now is alive.