Because He died I can live. How many times did they tempt Jesus with, “if you are King of the Jews, save yourself”? He could have done any number of things to avoid the cross, but He didn’t. A man, without sin, gave His life so that you and I could have life. And not just any life, but an abundant one. So, when He asks me to give Him my life, I no longer reject Him. My life is not my own. If it were, I would be able to wake myself up every morning. I would be able to open doors that are closed against me….on my own. But because He died on that old, rugged cross, I can have life. My sins are forgiven. But the story does not end there. Jesus conquered death. He rose on the third day, and is presently, seated at the right of the Father making intercession for you and I. Our big brother is still working on our behalf. He goes before the Father to intercede for us. How beautiful is that! How awesome is He!
I love the stories within the story. One in particular is the story of the two thieves on each side of Jesus. Undoubtedly, they belonged there. Their punishment was deserved. Sound familiar? But one of them, arrogantly I might add, said “If thou be Christ, save thyself AND us.” The other rebukes him, dude, we belong here. Have you no respect? This man has done nothing wrong, but this is what we deserve. And he says to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Jesus promises Him paradise. This is an example of not being treated according to our sins deserve.
Forgiveness is one of the many privileges of the Cross. Jesus died so that we could have everlasting life. We must die daily because our lives don’t belong to us. Dying daily lets God know that we trust His guidance, that we yield control, and that we surrender all to His plan and purpose.
He is RISEN! Happy Easter!