• By John Hicks

What was so special about Jesus' death?

There have been martyrs for many causes. What makes Jesus’ death more important than the others? Well He not only willingly bled and died upon the cross but He did so while carrying all of our guilt and shame, all of our sins, on that cross. This was the burden that He bore and it was unlike anything that any man has ever had to bear or ever will bear. Just imagine the most intense pressure you have ever felt upon your conscience for any sin you may have done and consider the guilt and shame that you bore as the result. Your burdens were essentially shifted onto his shoulders upon that cross along with every other person’s burdens that has ever lived and ever will live. He bore so much shame that it literally broke His heart upon that cross. Jesus’ heart was utterly crushed under all of that weight. The most amazing thing that truly sets His death apart from any other was His resurrection from the dead. After three days in the tomb He arose victorious over death and sin and now we have the one and only sacrifice that is required for us to be reunited with our Father, the one and only true God, our Creator. This is very similar to what we see in an earthly courtroom where one is found guilty of a crime and the mandated punishment is a fine they can not afford that results in a sentence of life in prison. We have all broken God’s law which was given to us by God through Moses. These are God’s Ten Commandments. We are all, within the holy and righteous and perfect standard of God, found guilty and without excuse. For this we all deserve eternal separation from Him in Hell. The Bible states that if I break one of God’s laws then I am guilty of them all. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10 That means the simplest of lies or just one lustful thought, which Jesus said is the same as adultery, or simply hating someone, which Jesus said was murder (see Matthew 5:22 and 28), will justly send me and any other person to Hell. Just when the all mighty Heavenly Judge is about to finalize the sentencing phase of the trial a man steps forward and offers to pay this fine. In a spiritual sense this is what has occurred with us. Jesus steps between God and man to be man’s mediator in the grave matter of sin and proclaims that He has fully paid the fine by submitting Himself to the deserved death, to be the only acceptable sacrifice in our place. The All Mighty Judge, God our Father, then judges us as not guilty and now we have access to Him in Heaven for all eternity. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:3-12 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:12-15

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