The Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Soon we will remember and celebrate the two most important days of all history: Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We have every reason to rejoice as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What we call Good Friday was indeed the greatest of Fridays for you and me when the Lord Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins. It was also the most horrendous of days for our Savior when He went to Calvary and suffered an excruciating death for us. Charles Wesley put it so beautifully when he wrote, “Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
The Apostle Peter wrote, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18a). Peter affirms five essential facts about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s death.
It was a horrible death. The word “died” in this verse speaks not only of physical death but of awful suffering.
It was a sacrificial death. Jesus died for all our sins. Indeed, Jesus did not die for His own sins because He never sinned. For Jesus was and is the only perfect man who ever lived.
It was an unrepeatable death. Peter said Jesus’ death was “once for all,” meaning that it was sufficient for all time and unrepeatable. What the blood of thousands of bulls, goats, and sheep could never do, Jesus did by His death on the cross for you and me.
It was a substitutionary death. Jesus’ death was “the righteous for the unrighteous.”
It was a reconciling death. Jesus died in our place for all our sins that He might bring us to God. The Old Testament speaks of a thick veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:33). This curtain was a visual reminder that no one but the High Priest could come into God’s presence, and he could only come once a year on the Day of Atonement with the blood of a bull. When Jesus, our Great High Priest, died on Calvary’s cross, the temple veil was ripped apart from top to bottom. Our glorious God did this. Jesus’ death made reconciliation to God possible for all who repent of their sin and trust Christ as their Savior.
Dr. Ray Pritchard shared the following illustration. “Let’s suppose that you have cancer, and your cancer has progressed to the point where the doctors have told you there is no hope of recovery. They have exhausted methods of treatment. There is nothing else they can do. Without a miracle, you will die. So, I come to you and say, ‘I’d like to help you out. I want to take every single one of your cancer cells out of your body and put them in my body.’ You look at me with a mixture of puzzlement and incredible joy. The very thing that is killing you is about to be removed from your body. After you say that to the person, you then ask this question, ‘If that were possible, what would happen to me and what would happen to you?’ The answer is, ‘I would die, and you would live.’ Why? Because I took the thing that was causing your death and placed it on myself, and I died as your substitute.”
That is what Jesus did for us. He took the penalty for our sins, and He placed it on Himself. That is why our Lord had to die. He did not die as a good example, and He did not die to teach us how to live or how to die. He died because He took our punishment on Himself. Ellis J. Crum expressed it this way in a Gospel chorus:
He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away, And now I sing that brand new song, “Amazing Grace” all day long, Christ Jesus paid the debt, That I could never pay. Praise the Lord for His divine grace and mercy
No other events have impacted our world so much as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection changed the history of the world. Indeed, Jesus triumphed over sin, death, and the demons of Hell. In doing so, He provided salvation for all who trust in Him. Today, our Savior reigns from the Father’s right hand in heaven. Someday soon, Jesus, the triumphant Christ, will return to reign on this earth. Hallelujah! May we all be trusting Him, loving Him, serving Him, and worshipping Him. The staff of your Galesburg Rescue Mission and Women’s Shelter have dedicated their lives to declaring these truths. We preach the saving grace of our resurrected and triumphant Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for all your faithful and sacrificial support of our ministries. To God be all the honor, glory, and praise! May you all have a most blessed and worshipful Easter.
Because of Calvary, Dave Scholl, Director
Darlene McGarry, WPC Director He Is Risen, Indeed!
Our Lord is risen, alive, working, and in control! However, our lives will spiral out of control unless we submit to His authority. But, if we confess our sin and trust Christ alone for salvation, our loving God brings peace and stability to our lives.
I recently crossed paths with a woman whose life was crumbling. Of all her problems, her greatest need was to trust Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. It is our privilege at the center to share the Gospel with folks like this. We are tools in God’s hands. We are instruments of righteousness to bring souls to salvation.
As I sat and listened to her story, I kept asking God to give me the right words to say and that I would ask the right questions. As we talked, the Holy Spirit reminded me of some of the details of a previous conversation. A few years ago, she had attended two Bible-believing churches. However, she said that she did not feel comfortable in those services and that no one seemed interested in her spiritual needs. I asked, “While you were attending those churches, did you hear about Jesus?”. She had heard a little about Him but never trusted Him as her Savior. It was then that I discovered her greatest need was salvation. As I shared these truths with her, she became more attentive, made more eye contact, and appeared more relaxed. Thank You, Jesus!
This woman did not choose to receive the beautiful gift that God was offering her that day. She seemed to understand but was not ready to make that commitment. We are to plant the seed of the Gospel, but only God can do the harvesting. Our prayer is that our loving God would bring about that harvest. Indeed, life begins when we come to know Jesus as our Savior. Please pray for the spiritual needs of this client and the other women who come through our doors.
Darlene McGarry, WPC Director P.S. I encourage you to listen to Alfred H. Ackley’s beautiful hymn, “I Serve a Risen Savior,” during this Easter season.