On the cross Jesus says, "It is finished." This is the most dramatic point in all history, for Jesus is referring to not only his life, but to the problem of sin. Jesus has become God's remedy.
As we have seen – in the beginning God creates man. Almost immediately man falls through rebellion. Then after thousands of years of preparation, at just the right time, God impregnates a young virgin girl named Mary who was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. A son is born, the Son of God himself.
As a young man, Jesus goes to work in his father’s carpentry business. Facing the temptations each of us faces, he grows up without sin.
About age 30, Jesus leaves his trade to begin proclaiming the message of his heavenly father’s kingdom. Tens of thousands follow him, scores are healed, even the dead are restored to life.
Religious and government leaders see him as a threat. They collaborate and arrange his death on trumped-up charges. Jesus is betrayed, arrested, tried, whipped and nailed to a cross. His sentence of death by crucifixion is one allotted to common criminals. He does not fight back but goes voluntarily, though he could have summoned a huge number of angels to rescue him. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, he is led like a lamb to the slaughter. He dies.
On the cross Jesus says, “It is finished.” This is the most dramatic point in all history, for Jesus is referring to not only his life, but to the problem of sin. Jesus has become God’s remedy. By his obedience, he has satisfied God’s requirement as “the perfect sacrifice for sin.” This is why Christianity, stripped of the cross, is not Christianity at all!
Jesus is laid into the tomb of an influential Jewish leader. The tomb is sealed. Three days later, to the astonishment of even his closest followers, Jesus is raised from the dead. His disciples find the grave empty and are shaken to the core.
But Jesus appears to them, then to hundreds of others. He comforts and reassures them by affirming these incredible events have been at the very heart of God’s purposes.
After 40 days he goes up to heaven where he is reunited with God, his father. The father then bestows on his son the supreme high honor of headship over everything on earth and in heaven. Jesus is made both Lord and Christ – positions he holds today. “Lord” refers to his rulership. “Christ” refers to his capacity to save. He and he alone becomes the savior of mankind.
From this place of authority, Jesus invites us to become his followers – new creations!
Who can say this is not utterly amazing? I’m not sure the human mind can fully take it in. What kind of love is this – a father sacrificing his only son? Yet this occurred, very literally, for one central, majestic reason – so you and I can reestablish the kind of personal relationship with God that he intended from the beginning. He made it possible to come home. He became the answer to life’s greatest question.
That process – how we come home spiritually – is what we now want to look at more closely. It is the consummation and purpose of our journey.» Part 7: Believing