Let me remind you of the five evidences from Jesus’ life that point to His uniqueness, His deity.
We have His His power and authority to Teach. His power and authority over: Sickness, Nature, Death & Sin.
We also see the uniqueness of Jesus’ person in the uniqueness of Jesus’ death. In one sense, His death was like any other death, crucifixion was a common way of executing people, but in another, way, His death was like no other, it was unique.
Crucifixion was a barbaric deterrent, a means to keep law & order. When Jesus was crucified, two other men were crucified with Him. Thousands of men suffered crucifixion.
But look at how the crucifixion, the death of Jesus was different? Firstly, it took days normally for people to die when they were crucified, yet Christ died within six hours of being put on the cross.
Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9am. At noon, 12pm, darkness came over all the land. ( Matt 27:45 ) at 3pm, Jesus breathed His last. Luke 23:46. The Roman soldiers went to break the legs of those on the crosses. When they came to Jesus, He was already dead. John 19: 32-34.
Jesus was able to give up His spirit, John 19:30, dictate the exact moment of His death, only God has that power.
Also we read that a super natural darkness came over all the land, at mid-day, when the sun was at its brightest, it was black.
And the death of Jesus was accompanied by earthquakes, dead people rose from their graves, and the curtain at the temple was torn from top to bottom.
These were not common occurrences. These things happened because the Son of God, the Messiah, the Chosen One, was giving His life as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of men and women.
The Gospel promised by God from the beginning of time was being fulfilled, the most momentous event in all of history was taking place. God in Christ was dying. These are the events……….
But what is the significance? Well I have three points to share.
Jesus was born to die, and He died as a ‘Sin Offering’ – a ‘Substitute’ and as a ‘Saviour’. Firstly: Jesus died as a Sin Offering
There is a Scarlet Thread that runs through scripture, a scarlet thread of blood. From the Garden of Eden, to Cain & Abel, to the Passover, to the Tabernacle & Temple, and to the Cross of Christ.
The Bible states: ‘There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood’. There is no redemption, reconciliation, salvation, without something, someone dying, without there being an offering to God for the atonement of sin. The death of Jesus on the cross was final, ultimate offering to God for the atonement of sin. ( 1 Peter c1 v18-20 )
Secondly, Jesus died as a ‘Substitute’. There will always be a penalty for breaking God’s Holy Law, a payment will always have to be paid for sin. There are only two options…
Either we pay the penalty ourselves, eternal punishment in hell. Or we ask Jesus to pay the penalty for us as our substitute.
There is no third option. A person is either condemned by God for their sin, or pardoned by God through faith in Jesus as a substitute.
( Romans 5:1 & 8:1 )
So, if we acknowledge Jesus as the only offering for sin, the only one who can placate the wrath of God against sin, and if we ask Him to be our substitute, to pay the penalty we deserve, He promises to become our Saviour. He makes us right with God, friends with God. He promises eternal life. Jesus is a Saviour.
The whole world at the moment is in the grip of a pandemic, the pandemic that is the Coronavirus. The word Pandemic comes from the Greek word ‘Pan’ meaning ALL & Demos meaning PEOPLE.
Now not everyone has, or will have ‘Covid 19’. It’s not strictly a Pandemos. But there is a disease which is truly Pandemic, it’s called sin. Everyone has it, although most people don’t realise they’re infected. The first thing in being cured, is knowing we have a disease. Do we all realise that tonight? Remember these things this Good Friday – Jesus died as a Sin Offering – Substitute – Saviour.
Christianity is inclusive and yet exclusive. Inclusive for everyone who will express repentance and faith towards Jesus. God will never turn away a sincere believer in Christ. Exclusive because there is no other way to be reconciled to God except through the cross of Christ.
‘There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood’. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Him. John c14 v6. AMEN