by: Gary L. Hutchens
What does the crucifixion of Christ mean to me? That’s about as serious a question as could be asked. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ went to the cross and died in order to pay the debt for our sins. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8). We are all sinners (Rom. 3:9-10, 23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
The scriptures state that God “made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The sense of that verse is that Christ bore on Himself all the guilt of all sins for all people for all time as He hung on that cross. What incredible love, what an incredible sacrifice!
God sent His Son to “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9) as the perfect “Savior of the world” (1 Jn. 4:14). We were condemned in our own sins (Jas. 1:15), with no way to change that reality. In His love for us, God stepped in and made the way for us to be forgiven and redeemed through the sacrifice of His Son’s life on the cross (Jn. 3:16).
What does the crucifixion mean to me? Because Christ died on that cross, His blood cleansed me of the guilt of my sins when I was baptized (Acts 22:16). I now look forward to eternal life with Him and God the Father in Heaven (Rom. 6:23).
What does the resurrection mean to me? The reason the crucifixion holds such meaning is because it was not the end of the story. Anyone could have appeared on the scene and claimed to be “the Christ.” Anyone could have identified himself as “the Son of God.” Anyone facing death could have said he would come back from the grave. Anyone could have made these claims. But Christ really did rise from the dead and come forth from the tomb, alive!
Jesus openly foretold not only His death but also the manner in which He would die (Jn. 12:32-33) and the clear promise that He would arise from the dead (Mk. 8:31). Only God has the power to raise the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s power behind Him and the truthfulness and authority of all He taught while in His ministry on this earth (Jn. 12:49-50). Because of His resurrection we can believe with absolute certainty the full meaning of His crucifixion.
Also, because He arose from the tomb we look forward to our own resurrection from the grave when the Lord comes again to judge the world (1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-52; 1 Thess. 4:14-17). This life is not all there is. Physical death is not the end. Our Lord has gone to prepare a home for the faithful to be with Him in Heaven (Jn. 14:2-3).
Are you ready for the Lord to come again? On that day you will stand before Him and give account for how you have lived your life in this world (2 Cor. 5:10). Do you need to get your life in order, spiritually. You can only do that by coming to Christ in repentance and obedience, surrendering to Him in baptism for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). You can be forgiven because of the crucifixion. You can then look forward to eternal life with Him in Heaven because of the resurrection. Will you come to Him now?…
Gary L. Hutchens