Monday, 31 August 2020
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39
Today’s reading gives us an account of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, the way He was mistreated and persecuted and how God the Father honoured Him at death. As we meditate on our text today we understand why He died and what impact it brought for the entire mankind.
Jesus suffered a gruesome death for no fault of His. But His death has a significance for you and me. We understand from Hebrews 9:22 “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Jesus endured a shameful death. Cross and shame go hand in hand. At that time, crucifixion was the most heinous form of death. Jesus never deserved this kind of death as He never sinned, nor was he found guilty at the hands of the authorities of His day. Yet He went to the cross willingly to take the punishment of the sins of the entire humanity- including those who had wronged Him in sentencing Him to death. 2 Corinthians 5:21 speaks of Christ thus: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus endured a cursed death – Galatians 3:13 says, ‘Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)…’ We are no longer under a curse but free in Christ! Jesus inaugurated His kingdom through the death on the cross showing us the way to the eternal kingdom by way of the cross. And there is no other way or short cut for an entry. The cross once a mark of curse has now become the symbol of salvation!
Jesus endured pain and suffering because of His love for mankind. He could have easily evaded the pain of humiliation or He could have destroyed the people who were mocking and harming Him. But the Lord endured it because He loved even those who persecuted Him. Their sins as well as our sins were on the cross at that moment. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
The Roman centurion who watched the whole scene understood that Jesus was no ordinary man and confessed: “Surely this man was the Son of God!” A king stripped and executed in public – the world thought He lost His kingdom forever. But Jesus who turns the wisdom of the world upside down made a triumphant victory over sin, death and Satan; He will return again to establish His eternal kingdom by defeating Satan’s rule and establishing Christ’s authority over the earth. Jesus is the king of Jews and Gentiles and He reigns over all!
Remember His death was for you and for me. The penalty for our sins was paid by Him through His death. There is no other such act of sacrificial love expressed in the whole of history! And now how can we respond to this great sacrifice? There is only one way – Confess our sins before Him, receive His death as sufficient for our salvation and accept His Lordship in our lives.
Dear brother/sister: He desires that you become a part of His eternal kingdom!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I do believe that You were punished for my sins. I accept Your Lordship in my life. Cleanse me with Your blood and prepare me for Your eternal kingdom – Amen
Listen: ‘Above all’