We have another guest post on the blog today! This one is by Rachel Scheller, a fellow student from the Young Writer’s Workshop.
Can you believe we’ve already entered the Easter season?? I love remembering Christ’s sacrifice and love for us year round, but this time of year is a great time to reflect on it even more. I’ll leave you with Rachel as she discusses the significance of Jesus’s sacrifice….
In a Facebook comments section, a nonbeliever took the phrase, “Jesus died to save us from our sin,” and pointed out that if Jesus knew He would rise again on the third day, then He really only gave up His weekend to save us from our sin.
On the surface, it seems like a good point. Jesus did tell His disciples that He would rise again—multiple times, too. Add in all the Old Testament prophecies about Him dying and rising again, and it’s obvious that Jesus knew what would happen. You might start to feel an inkling of doubt that Jesus really gave up so much.
But let’s put it in perspective. Even overlooking that the mechanism of death on a cross is suffocation, and ignoring the flogging (Matthew 27:26), the nails that were driven through His hands (Acts 2:23), and the fact that His appearance was “marred beyond human likeness” (Isaiah 52:14), He still sacrificed far more than a weekend.
What Really Happened On The Cross
God abhors sin. Every act of sin—from murder to a rude statement—is disgusting and vile. Even the smallest of sins is incompatible with His perfection. He will not let sin go unpunished. The Old Testament often describes God’s wrath as a cup that evildoers must drink from (see Psalm 75:8, Jeremiah 25:15, and Habakkuk 2:16 for examples).
Jesus was both fully man and fully God, allowing Him to be the only perfect human being who has ever walked the earth. The Mosaic law required a lamb without blemish to die in place of a sinner as a shadow of what was to come: Jesus, the only person who could possibly do anything to take our punishment, dying in our place.
Can you imagine even an inkling of what that must have been like as every piece of disgusting filth was heaped on top of Him? Every single piece of filth—murder, racism, fits of rage, oppression, idolotry, terrorism, genocide, abuse, and every single other ugly sin you can imagine—was pressed down on Him. On His shoulders rested all of the wickedness that mankind had ever done (Isaiah 53:5), and He stood in our place and drank deeply from the cup of wrath (Luke 22:33, John 18:11).
Beyond any doubt, it was disgraceful, shameful, and humiliating.
What That Means For Us
The nails driven through His flesh and bone weren’t what held Jesus to the cross. Love held Him there. It should have been us who died, not Him. Only in our case, that would have been the end. The punishment would have been right for us.
But because He took away our sins and defeated death, death had no more hold on Him. His body—marred by the scars from the nails and from the spear that had pierced His side—began to breathe again, and He came out of the tomb.
It’s not about the weekend He gave up. It’s about how He not only took that punishment from us, but also crushed death under His heel.
In exchange for His gift of eternal life, all He asks is that we turn back to Him and let Him take our sins from us. If we declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9). Just as death could not hold Jesus, death cannot stop us from being raised again to be restored to God’s presence.
Those of us who already believe have a great privilege because of what happened on Easter, and with that privilege comes a duty. Because we have been restored to God, we desire that others will be restored as well. They’ll never believe unless they hear, so let’s press onward, telling the world about what Jesus gave us.
Rachel Scheller writes YA Adventure stories, but she doesn’t like to leave all the adventure to her characters. She has dabbled in a wide range of areas, from emergency medical services to administration to fitness. She is also a blogger and freelance editor. Find her online at rmscheller.com.