Many years ago the hymnwriter John Moore asked:

Why did they nail Him to Calvary’s tree?
Why, tell me why, was He there?
Jesus, the Healer, the Helper, the Friend,
Why, tell me why, was He there?

He then gave the answer many people either miss or overlook:

All my iniquities on Him were laid,
He bore them all to the tree;
Jesus, in dying, my debt fully paid,
He paid the ransom for me!

According to Moore and, more importantly, according to Scripture, Jesus suffered extreme bodily pain and intense agony of soul on Calvary because of sin.

Not His – ours.

Jesus Himself was without sin. He did nothing wrong – ever!

He was fully God and fully man; perfect, spotless, sinless.

But we are not.

The Bible tells us that each of us is a sinner. Each of us has ignored the commandments of our Creator, rejected His authority over us, disobeyed His law, and failed to live up to His holy standards:

Sin has a hefty price tag – death. The death of our bodies, but more disturbingly the eternal punishment of our souls.

We were given immortal souls, designed to live forever. We were meant to experience a deep and meaningful relationship with the One who created us. But in following sin rather than God, we are headed for eternal separation from Him.

However, in His infinite mercy, our Creator made a way for us to be reconciled to Him.

God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place – to take the punishment for us, to pay the penalty for our sin:

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Why would He do such a thing?

In a word, love. Love for you. Love for me.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

That day on the cross, our Lord paid the ultimate price in order to make peace between God and man. What appeared to a tragedy born of hate was in fact love’s greatest triumph.

It Doesn’t End with the Passion

The crucifixion is not the end of the story.

On the morning of the third day, Jesus rose from the grave in power and glory. He now lives forevermore!

And because He lives, we can live too.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the power of sin has been broken. Death has been conquered. But only those who believe in Him will receive the gift of eternal life and entrance to heaven.

How should Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection affect me?

Fifty days after the crucifixion, the apostle Peter preached about the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. He ended his sermon in Acts 2:36 with this statement: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

The people who heard Peter’s sermon were convicted in their hearts and asked the apostles what they should do.

Our response to the cross should follow three steps:

Then Christ’s passion will have real – and lasting – significance for you.

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