Overcoming Death

When Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross, shed His blood for our sins and was raised on the third day, what did that accomplish? As Easter is coming, we reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior.

When I was nine years old, I found out that the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist. However, Jesus Christ did exist on earth (John 1:14), and He still lives today, seated at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34). Almost my whole life, I have suffered so much pain, but when searching the Word of God, I have found that the agony Jesus suffered on my behalf is far greater than any suffering I could ever fathom or experience on this earth.

Jesus is God made flesh. He has no sin of His own; He lived an absolutely perfect life. Yet, because of the sins of humanity, we needed a mediator—a perfect, eternal sacrifice. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

He took all of the sins of the world, past, present and future, upon Himself, endured the wrath of God so we would not have to endure it. He took our unrighteousness, cast it into the sea (Micah 7:18) and gave us His righteousness. We do not deserve this grace.

Did you know that when He was hanging on the cross, religious leaders taunted Him and said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” Matthew 27:42. Why did Jesus not come down from the cross? He could have, since He is the all-powerful God. Yet, if He had, He would not have paid the price to cleanse our sins: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 ESV.

The pain that Jesus suffered was unlike any pain anyone else has ever suffered. Not only was Jesus whipped, with flesh hanging off his body and blood pouring from his wounds, nailed to a cross with ¾” wide and 6”-8” long spikes, crucified, asphyxiated, a crown of thorns forced into his head that penetrated his skull and brain, mocked and exposed in front of thousands of witnesses for six hours, but He also bore the wrath of God and carried the weight of all sin of all humanity.

Jesus, in His flesh, became hungry, thirsty and tired, just like any human being would.  In the midst of His pain, His thirst must have been unbearable. He was offered a myrrh-wine mixture and hyssop, which would have numbed His experience of the pain, yet, He refused to take it (Mark 15:23).With His final breath, He declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), which signaled the payment for our sins was completed.

No further sacrifice would ever be necessary: “He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27 ESV).

On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. As a sinless God-man, the grave could not hold Him down. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death...” We are full of sin, and we deserve that death, but Jesus is perfect, and that death could not overcome Him.

Back to the first question I presented, ‘What did that accomplish?’ His resurrection conquered death, sin and hell. We are no longer bound to the law: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose” (Galatians 2:21 ESV). His death and resurrection were enough. His sacrifice was purposeful, perfect and permanent.

After all, why would Jesus bother to go through the worst death in the history of the universe and be resurrected if it wasn’t sufficient?

This Easter, thank God for His love, His sacrifice and His grace. Thank Him that the price has been paid, and confess your sins to Him. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 ESV).

We have committed countless sins, and we will continue to sin until we die, but we have been given the righteousness of Christ. “...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 ESV).