the perfect day to celebrate the triumph of Christ.
“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 17:30 NIV
We do not normally consider the death of anyone as a triumph. Most of us have known someone who has left this life and, depending upon who they were and the degree of closeness we shared, their passing was usually tinged with sadness at the very least. Perhaps we have known an elderly person who has suffered for a long time with illness. In many instances, we view their passing as a blessing for them even though we may still be saddened by their loss. Rarely, though, would we refer to anyone’s death as a triumph.
However, Jesus Christ certainly was not just anyone.
At the time of His death, most of those who had followed Him; who had heard Him preach to the masses and who had the unbelievable honor of speaking to Him in private; who had seen the sick healed and the hungry fed; these men who had claimed to believe and proclaimed their faith all viewed His death as something far less than triumphant. Even having been told three times what would happen – that Jesus would be crucified and would rise from the dead – they still failed to understand or comprehend the significance of His death. “But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.” (Luke 18:34 NASB).
They would not come to understand until He was with them again after His resurrection, but it is important to understand that the triumph of Christ was realized not when He rose from the dead, but at the moment of His death.
As horribly as He was treated before He was hung on the cross, and as horrific as being nailed to it must have been not only for Christ to experience, but for those who loved Him to witness, it was at the moment when His spirit was released that His work for His Father; that His service to all of humanity; that His purpose here on earth was complete.
With His death, the debt for the sins of all of mankind was paid in full. With His death, the complex laws of sacrifice were over, since He became the supreme sacrifice for us all. With His death, we now had the ability to freely approach God making it possible for each one of us to get rid of our burdens, ease our pain, give thanks, ask for guidance, and much, much more.
As painful as the thought of Jesus hanging on that cross can be, His death represented victory over sin, the offer of salvation to us all, and redemption, restoration and renewal for all who seek it.
Today, and every day, we should celebrate the triumph of our Lord, Jesus Christ when He died for each and every one of us! AMEN
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson