Some two thousand years ago, the Pharisees in connivance with the Roman government in Jerusalem crucified Jesus Christ in what they believed was a political move to save the Jewish nation from looming doom that the perceived growing popularity of Jesus Christ amongst the common people of that part of the Roman Empire may cost the Israelites. For them, it was better to sacrifice one man in order to save a nation.
These conspirators failed to realize that the wisdom of man is nothing but foolishness before God, I Cor. 3:19. Little did they know that their conspiracy was aligning to fulfil God’s grand plan to reunite man, His most prized creation with Him.
At the twilight of Jesus’ assignment on earth, when he went for his usual round of prayers and what seems to be the last of such routine, he knew the enormity of what was about to go down. In fact, it was recorded that He prayed that the task would pass over him, however, he was quick to say that the will of God the Father should be done, Matt. 26:39. His eventual death on the cross at the Golgotha was a victory over death, a great sacrifice that opened the pathway for man to reconcile with God and also revealed God’s undying love for man.
With Jesus’ death on the cross, God not only shows to man that He is willing as a loving father and God to forgive and commune with man so far his commandments are obeyed. Jesus’ death is a crystal clear message that God’s love for man knows no bounds, John 3:16.
The death on the cross is significantly a great sacrifice for humanity. II Cor.5:21 states that He, who had no sin, died for a sinful world so that the world can be righteous. It also marked victory over death as the death and the resurrection of Christ gave life to all in as much as man is willing to grab the opportunity to enjoy life in Christ.
When Jesus was condemned to death by the Romans in connection with the Pharisees, they believed that was the end of the whole revolution he was spreading across the world. They never knew that their conspiracy was only part of God’s plan to save a dying world plagued by sin. When Jesus rose on the third day, he absolutely conquered death.
For us as Christians, the life, death and resurrection of Christ is the essence of living. Christians are expected to exhibit the virtues and morals of the death and Resurrection of Christ, one of which is forgiveness. In spite of the conspiracy, torture and humiliation He underwent, Jesus, before he died on the cross, prayed that God should forgive his persecutors, Luke 23:34. Even at the point of death for an offence he never committed, he had the fortitude to forgive. It is a challenge to Christians that there is no wrongdoing or offence against us that is unpardonable and unforgivable, Matt. 18:21.
The essence of the celebration of Easter is also to always bring to remembrance that there is no sacrifice too costly for Christ. Jesus, having laid down his life to die for the sins of the world, expects Christians to be committed to sacrificing their time, resources and life to bring the gospel of life to the utmost part of the world. No wonder he told the rich man in the Bible to sell all his belongings and follow him, Matt. 19:21.
More also, Christians are expected to exhibit unconditional love, I John 4:19. The kind of love that God exhibited that led to him releasing his only son to die for the sin of the world is incomparable. Christians are to note that the message of the persecution death and resurrection of Christ is a message of love. For Jesus also, to have taken up that challenge is an indication of the love he has for the world. Selfless love is what is needed for anyone who claims to be Christian in this world full of hate and deceit.
The Bible makes it clear that there would be persecution for those who chose to follow the part of life. So, in spite of the persecution, God expects that as Christians, we are to show and give love to the persecutors, Matt. 5:10-12.
The death and resurrection of Christ is a testament to what Paul said that those who follow in the path of Christ would also conquer death, Rev. 20:5-6. The purpose of Jesus coming to die for the world is to ensure that life in abundance is guaranteed for all. However, it is expedient that the eternal life that the death and resurrection of Christ assures is taken to the nooks and crannies of the world so that souls are saved from death and eternal life is guaranteed for all.