Pastor Robert Hudson, Littleby Baptist Church
Easter is when God’s power changed everything for us! But before the empty tomb there was the cross, and we cannot celebrate the resurrection of Jesus without reflecting on His death on that cross.
Jesus walked this earth, lived a sinless life, and offered Himself up as a sacrifice to wipe away our sins. He paid the ultimate price for each one of us, yet while He was hanging on that cross He continued to teach us.
“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.” Luke 23:34
Even with the agonizing pain He was in from having His hands and feet pierced with giant nails. Even with all His weight being held on those nails, He asked that all those who hurt Him that day to be forgiven. He asked for the soldiers who put the nails in His hands, He asked for Pilate for handing Him over to be crucified, He was asking for everyone crying out for Him to be crucified, and He was even asking for our Father to forgive the religious leaders who orchestrated everything.
Jesus is all about forgiveness, and He wanted it for all who hurt Him. Even on the cross He was teaching us to forgive those who hurt us. Does not matter what they have done, we are to forgive them.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth was to show love, forgiveness, and offer eternal life to all who believe.
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
The work of the cross was finished. There was no doubt, no fear, and no pain. Jesus was confident that He endured what was need. He was confident that His blood had paid for all of our sin. Nothing else was needed, so Jesus gave up His spirit. He decided when the time was right. He knew He accomplished exactly what He wanted to.
Shortly after Jesus breathed His last breath, He was buried in a tomb.
“2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4 Looking up, they noticed that the stone—which was very large—had been rolled away. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him.” Mark 16:2-6
Jesus died on that cross to wipe away your sin, but that did not stop Him. He rose on the third day to defeat death once and for all and to give New Life to all who accept Him as Lord.
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
Jesus taught us to forgive while hanging on the cross so that you can be forgiven. It does not matter what your sin is or how much you have sinned, Jesus has paid the price. His death has cleansed you once and for all and His Resurrection gives you New Life. All you have to do is ask! Jesus Lives!