The day death died
Death is a scary thought and a topic of discussion. Many view it like an unpronounced taboo. Personally, this was exactly how I felt about death. Growing up I saw neighbours, friends, colleagues, family members and strangers die through sickness or unexpected occurrence. Since no one explained to me ‘the why’, I felt like God was unfair. How can He take away a father who happens to be the bread-winner and leaves the family suffering? How fair is it for the innocent children to grow up without a dad or a mum? How logical is it for Him to allow a young child who has done no wrong, who is full of dreams and potential to die? This became the unspoken bone of contention between God and me.
One day someone explained in details ‘the why’ in relation to the suffering of Christ for my sake as a sinner who deserved death. He shared how Christ loved and cared deeply for me as an individual. How He endured the cross and despised the shame for my sake. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. Christ didn’t fight back to save Himself or to run away but He delivered up Himself to the authorities.
The elders of the people, the chief priest and Scribes led Him to the council where He strongly affirmed that ‘He was the Son of God’. Then they led Him to the Pilate where they falsely accused Him and He strongly affirmed to them after being probed that indeed He was ‘The King of the Jews’. He was then sent to Herod since He was of his jurisdiction. Here He was probed with many questions which He did answer, He was vehemently accused, treated with contempt, mocked, arrayed with a gorgeous robe and was sent back to Pilate. It was through Jesus Christ that these two great enemies (Herod and Pilate) became friends. A friendship that was built based on envy and insecurity of power brought by Christ’s presence. Since, they didn’t indeed understand that Christ was the Son of God.
Pilate having examined Jesus Christ, he found no fault in Him concerning all the accusations made against Him. The ultimate punishment of Pilate was to get Jesus Christ whipped 39 stripes on His back and thereafter be released, although according to the chief priest, rulers and the multitude this was an easy way of escape for Him meaning that their plans won’t prevail. He never stole from anyone, never did He cause people to rebel against the Roman rule, if anything He urged them, Matthew 22:21 Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s. He fed the hungry, made the blind men see, the lame walk, the lepers healed, the demon possessed received deliverance and the dead came to life.
His life meant nothing to them, the rebellious and murderer Barabbas was of better preference. They all cried out not ones or twice but thrice for Jesus Christ to be crucified and Barabbas to be freed. They were all blind to who Jesus Christ was to them, that He was the king of the Jews, the Son of God. Due to the fact that their voices prevailed, Pilate gave sentence for Barabbas to be released and in his place, Christ to be crucified to their will. Yes He was crucified as a thief and died. But death couldn’t hold Him back because He conquered it and resurrected on the third day. He now has power over death and He alone holds the keys to life and death. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
This message made an impact in my life. I felt like scales fell of my eyes. I was able to understand and know in part (because I am a work in progress) the love of God for His people. How He sacrificed Himself for me and the world. When I was lost in sin and worldly pleasures He still cared to the point of dying on my behalf. Salvation therefore, is a precious gift to me. This is because there is no amount of good works that will purchase my salvation apart from the already done work on the cross. I’m glad because for this reason, I totally depend on God and not on self.
This is what Easter means to me.