Nails for Easter

Apr 05, 18 Nails for Easter

 

As I write, with my laptop on my lap, I am listening to a CD on our stereo; Jeremy Camp singing, “This Man”, which includes the lyrics, “Would you take the place of this man? Would you take the nails from his hands?”

 

Would I take Jesus’ place on the cross? No. Would I take the nails from his hands? No, even though it IS because of me and my sin that he willing went to the cross. I’m very selfish (sinful is a more accurate word). But the main reason I wouldn’t is because only Jesus did something which no one else could ever do; He paid for the debt my sin creates, the wages of which are an eternal separation from God upon my death.

 

And he did pay it. Right before he died, Jesus said,”It is finished!”. Literally translated, it is just one word in Greek: tetelestai. This was the same word found on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to express ‘debt paid’. Before Jesus died, then, he was stating, “It is paid.” Thank you, Jesus! Our debts, the wages of our sin, are “paid in full”!

by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”  Colossians 2:14

 

Jesus did this for anyone who repents (is humble before God and sorry for their sins), asks Him for His forgiveness, puts their faith in what He did on the cross as the ONLY Savior of mankind (not even our good deeds or works are required) and becomes a Jesus-follower. (This is the biblical definition of a Christian.)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

“Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised…” Romans 8:34b

 

Jesus rose back to life, conquering death and our enemy, satan, and a Christian has an eternity, LIFE, with Him.

Jesus told us in John 10:10: “The thief (our enemy, satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they (people) may have life and have it abundantly.”

 

So, what’s the big deal about our sinfulness and its unpaid debt? Sin is deadly and its unpaid debt means eternal separation from God, who is totally without sin. He knew that it is impossible for us to pay that debt because sin is so much a part of us and we are spiritually dead because of it.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:25, 26

 

So, God, the Father, sent God, the Son, as a rescuer, a Savior. He came to earth as Jesus with the goal of dying on a cross, even if that had meant just rescuing one person! He is a conundrum: The Good Shepherd who came for his lost sheep and he is God’s perfect lamb, the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

 

One of my favorite books is actually a children’s book, “The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name” by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I first read it a few years ago but no matter how many times I read the part about Jesus’ crucifixion, I can’t get through it without tears. The writer, Sally Lloyd-Jones, has a gift of communication as she writes a powerful truth about why God did this. To paraphrase Sally, Jesus could have come down from the cross anytime he wanted to as only manmade nails kept him fastened there. After all, angels ARE at his beck and call. But he didn’t leave the cross because of what actually kept him nailed there: His love for us.

Happy Easter! He is Risen Indeed! Again, we say, “thank you, Jesus!”.

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