Friday was the day Jesus Christ died. It occurred to me that Jesus Christ was the greatest die-er of all time. Here are compelling reasons about it:
The timing of His death was impeccable. He died exactly on the day of the Jewish Passover. This was according to God’s eternal plan, which was Scripturally prescribed and prophesied long before it ever happened.
The ultimate outcome of His death was improbable. He did not intend to stay dead. After three days, He authoritatively rose from the dead.
The purpose of His death was perfect. His death provides eternal salvation for every one who repents of sin—-even for people today.
The effectiveness of His death is phenomenal. By His death people are saved with the gift of eternal life. By His death people are saved from eternal condemnation in hell. By His death people are kept saved. By His death people are enabled to have relationship and fellowship with the God of the Universe.
The willingness of His death was outstanding. Being who He was, He did not have to die, but He yielded willingly to death on the Cross. He could have easily avoided going to the Cross. His angels could have easily protected Him from the Cross. He could have easily come down from the Cross after He got put on it. He stayed until the necessary end.
The suffering of His death was impressive. Sadists outnumbered Him and opposed Him. Satan oppressed Him. He suffered extreme pain from the pre-Cross beatings and the on-the-Cross nails in his feet and hands. He suffered extreme thirst. He suffered from hyperextension of His joints while hanging on the Cross. He suffered from agonizing asphyxiation while hanging on the Cross. His suffering was so extremely intense that He died on the Cross within a relatively short period of time—-six hours.
The agony of His death is more than we can imagine. It was while Jesus hung on the Cross that God poured out His wrath on Jesus for our sins. For every sin committed God poured out His wrath on Jesus. For every sin being committed God poured out His wrath on Jesus. For every sin that will ever be committed God poured out His wrath on Jesus. No wonder Jesus was so passionate when He called out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
The actual consequence of His death is stirring. Based upon evidence from the Scriptural account of His death, the Lord died from a broken heart. To make sure that the Lord was already dead, the Roman soldier ran a spear into His side, and “forthwith came there out blood and water.” Herschel H. Hobbs cites a Dr. Stroud (“Physical Cause of the Death of Christ”) that Christ’s death was caused by a ruptured heart, because the bodily fluids had gathered in the chest cavity. If this is true, then the Lord’s death is even more compelling.
The reality of His death is meaningful. His suffering served to bring God and man together (“…there is one mediator between God and men, the Man Jesus Christ”). His suffering enabled God to graciously deal with man in such a way whereby God’s holiness and righteousness were not compromised. His suffering verified the truth that God can be trusted. His suffering proved that eternity in hell may be avoided and that eternity in Heaven may be gained.
The access to God His death provided is stunning. At the moment of His death, the separating veil in the Temple was rent “from the top to the bottom.” Tradition says that this veil was four inches thick, and that two teams of oxen on each side could not pull it apart. Nonetheless, the veil’s rending indicated that direct access to God by man had become available. It is a stunning privilege afforded us by His death.
The finality of His death is conclusive. With His last breath, He said loudly, “It is finished.” On the Cross, He had done all that was necessary for our Redemption. What a Savior! What a die-er!
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.