I hope that during this Holy Week you have taken time to ponder the Passion of Christ. The word Passion comes from the Latin word passiō, meaning suffering. The suffering of Jesus Christ was absolutely unsurpassed. The actual route that He was forced to take to the site of His execution came to be called “Via Dolorosa,” literally: “Sorrowful Road.” On this cruel journey, thousands shouted, “Crucify Him!” while some rushed to the roadside in tears. The Son of God was nailed to a cross and left to hang, the most brutal form of punishment known to man.
It was during this horrifying moment that a felon next to Him admitted his guilt and asked Jesus to remember Him when He comes into His kingdom. From His agonizing position He immediately replied, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43b).
Then, after several other meaningful words and events, Jesus committed His spirit into His Father’s hands. The earth quaked and the veil of the temple, the constant reminder that sin separated people from the presence of God, was torn. Jesus of Nazareth, the Way to God, was dead. Later that day, His bloodied and beaten body was removed from the cross by two men who saw to it that He received a humane burial. I do need to emphasize here that it was in fact God who was ultimately responsible for crucifying Jesus. (See Isaiah 53:10.)
Dear Reader, sin is serious, and God is just. Accordingly, sinners do deserve to be punished. The Bible tells us that “… the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). Even still, God is loving – So much so that He sent His own Son to absorb His wrath and bear the curse for all who trust in Him as their substitute. This is the beautiful Gospel, the Good News. Jesus Christ obediently took God’s wrath in our place!
On this very day, if you have never before admitted before God your unworthiness, confess to Him now that you have fallen short of His glory. We all have (Romans 3:23). Nevertheless, there is grace for the deserving sinner. Consider this carefully and act upon it! Ask forgiveness and receive God’s perfect peace. Invite Him to take complete control of your life. It almost sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Remember Jesus’ response to the murderer who admitted his guilt. That same forgiveness can be yours; He will not refuse you! This is without a doubt the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Choose to be forgiven. Choose the Savior’s sacrifice over payment for your sin with your own life. Then share your decision with someone, and rejoice forevermore!
Stay tuned for my upcoming post on the Resurrection…