What the Cross Represents
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – His Death
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection are the two most important events in human history. Why is this so? Because of Jesus’ death, the human race has the opportunity for eternal salvation.
All four of the New Testament Gospels talk of the crucifixion of Christ. These authors give us graphic accounts of the ancient Roman practice. Here are some main points in the crucifixion timeline:
- Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:43-52).
- Jesus endured six trials – three by Jewish leaders and three by the Romans (John 18:12-14, Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1a, Mark 15: 1b-5, Luke 23:6-12, Mark 15:6-15) Jesus survived painful beating, whipping, and mocking (Mark 15:16-20)
- Pilate tried to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten, but this act didn’t satisfy them. Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:6-15)
- Jesus was mocked by the soldiers as they dressed Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns (John 19:1-3)
- Jesus was crucified on Golgatha, which means the Place of the Skull (Mark 15:22) The sky turned dark for three hours (Mark 15:33).
- Jesus cried, “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!” and He died (Luke 23:46).
Author Arthur W. Pitt describes it this way, “With bleeding back, carrying His cross under the heat of the now almost midday sun, He [Jesus] journeyed up the rugged heights of Golgotha. Reaching the appointed place of execution, His hands and feet were nailed to the tree. For three hours He hung there with the pitiless rays of the sun beating down [on] His thorn-crowned head. This was followed by the three hours of darkness, now over. That night and that day were hours into which an eternity was compressed.”
The Savior of the world had emerged from three hours of darkness, during which He was separated from God the Father. Why did the Father turned away from Him? It is against the character of God to face sin, so God withdrew Himself from communication with His Son while Jesus bore the guilt of the world’s sin.
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – His Burial and Resurrection
Following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was given permission to bury Jesus, so he brought fine linen, wrapped the body, laid Jesus in a tomb and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Jesus was in the grave for three days. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of Jesus), and Salome prepared spices to anoint Jesus’ body. When they arrived at the tomb, the stone had already been rolled away! They entered the tomb, where an angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. . .You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you'” (Mark 16:6-7).
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – His Eternal Gift
What does the crucifixion of Jesus Christ have to do with you? God, who knows what you are made of, knew you could not live the sinless life necessary for heaven. So He decided to offer Himself in your place. He did that by becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ, His own Son. Jesus lived a sinless life on earth.
God had said the punishment for sin is death. Since we all have sinned (Romans 3:23, 6:23), we needed someone sinless to die in our place. Jesus, being sinless, died in our place and became the saving grace of the world. He died for you! Romans 5:10 says, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. . .” (Acts 16:31). Attending church or performing good works will not contribute to your salvation. God saves you by His grace.
Jesus is offering you the gift of eternal life. Will you accept it by faith?
The above text was taken from the following website: http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org