I can hardly bear to think about what happened to Jesus on the day of His crucifixion. Someone asked me once in an interview if I believed in Satan and if so why. Man’s inhumanity to man is evidence enough.
Evil is ever present in this world. Consider the Trail of Tears. Consider the Holocaust. Consider 911. Consider Paris. Consider the attacks in Belgium this week. I rest my case.
Christ, who had done nothing to harm anyone, and who always went about teaching, healing, and doing good, certainly did not deserve the consequences of a corrupt judicial system. The politicians and church leaders of the day couldn’t bear to see anyone to whom people flocked. They couldn’t tolerate the possibility of Him gathering people together who might rise up against the corruption of the day.
That was never Jesus’s agenda. He came to set the captives free, restore sight to the blind, heal the sick, and teach people about the Heavenly Father’s love. He knew the sacrifice that would He required of Him in the end, but He was willing to become that sacrifice for mankind and bridge the great gulf between God and man.
Some people call him teacher. He was that. He spoke in parables to common men and women and related to them on their level using examples from daily life. He was a scholar who challenged the wisest men in the temple at the age of twelve. He could have confined himself to that intellectual crowd, but He was a man of the ordinary people.
Some people call him prophet. He was that. The God nature in Him was able to see the future and to speak of things to come. Yet He wasn’t a mystic or fortuneteller who played on people’s fears. He brought hope for the future. He brought peace and strength to those who understood what He was saying about events that were yet to come.
Some people call him a historical figure. He was that. He was a real man who lived and breathed 2,000 years ago and changed the history of the world during His short lifespan in a way that no other person ever has.
Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” This account is given in three of the gospels.
His closest followers had seen miracles pass through Him. They had experienced the supernatural feeding of thousands, the healing of blind and deaf. They had listened to his teaching. There was a possibility that some of them were still trying to figure out the exact answer to that question, but it was Peter who spoke up.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Regardless of where they were in their faith in Christ as the promised Messiah, they all had to be shaken down to the core of their innermost being when they saw Him hanging on the cross of His crucifixion. Surely, they must have reasoned, if He was the Son of God, God would have protected Him from such a painful and shameful death. They had seen Him raise the dead. Surely He could have escaped this horrible fate.
But they couldn’t see the big picture. They couldn’t possibly know that He not only died for the sins of mankind, but was also going to be resurrected in three short days, revealing that He had power even over death and the grave.
When the women went to the tomb that first Resurrection morning, it was not with the anticipation that all was well. They went in mourning and tears. Their hearts were broken. They did not understand how such a dreadful thing had happened to the one they loved.
When they discovered the tomb to be empty and the angel told them he had risen, they must have been bewildered. When they finally saw Him and recognized Him, their hearts must have been near to bursting with joy.
On this Easter weekend, who do YOU say He is?
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.