How do you even begin to talk about it? It was darkness, and it was light. It was torment, and it was peace. It was death, and it was life? The Cross: two heavy wooden beams, shouldered by the man of sorrows. They pressed heavy upon His back. A back that had already been turned into an open wound by lashes it had received. Compared to the burden He was about to bear, it was light, but it brought Him to His knees.
It was His choice to do it, but it was a choice that caused Him to sweat blood as He wrestled in prayer in the garden. He had made His decision; He would drink the cup He dreaded. If this cup were visible, at the sight of it, our hearts would have stopped, our stomachs would have turned, and all our strength would have vanished. It was a mixture of every dark deed we, as His people, would ever commit. It was every foul emotion, every impure motive, and every heart’s desire for evil that we were unable to fulfil. If you have felt the weight of sin, you know it can break your heart and darken the soul, but because our hearts still have the stain of sin, we have never felt it to its full degree. It is crushing.
Not only were every one of our sins in that cup, but everything they deserved as well. The cup contained distress, depression, and despair. It included desolation, disease, and death. That cup was the wrath of an all-knowing, all-powerful, God of righteousness. What we saw in the bodily suffering of Jesus was only the surface, and He drank the cup until it was dry.
At that moment, life left His body. His chest stopped moving, His tongue lay still, and His eyes went cold. The enemy of death had taken Him. He was supposed to be our Savior, but he was dead. The wages of sin had taken the sinless one who was meant to set us free. They wrapped His body, laid Him in a cold tomb, and covered it with a stone. Our hope had died. He had borne the brunt of our sins, and it had killed Him.
Then something happened on the morning of the third day. Though it occurred in the dark of the tomb, a light came back into his eyes. There was a newness to His body unlike anyone else who had ever come back from the grave. It was alive, never to die again! The stone rolled away, and He walked out. Death had not defeated Him. He bore the wrath our sins deserved, and it had not overcome Him. He had overcome it. The bonds of death could not hold him!
In the resurrection, we have confirmation that His redeeming work was done. He was a hostage to our debt, and now that debt had been paid. He died for our sins and rose for our justification. Death could not hold Him because He had laid His life down of His own will, no one could demand it from Him. He could lay it down, and He could take it up again.
Since the bonds of death cannot hold Him, neither can they hold anything that belongs to Him. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus in faith will be saved. If you have not come to Him in faith, do it now. Forgiveness for your sins awaits. Today is the day of salvation. Child of God, what is it that brings you down? Is it sin, guilt, failure, shame, condemnation, accusation, or a body that is experiencing death. Whatever it is, it will find its defeat in Jesus Christ.
He is King of Kings and Lord of Lord! He has risen, and He is alive!
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – Jesus (John 11:25-26)