He died so we might live

(7th in a series of a presentation on The Apostles Creed)

We touched earlier on Pontius Pilate, when we discussed the historical writings. The Jewish leaders brought Jesus to Pilate, so that they could have Jesus crucified and be rid of the upstart Messiah once and for all. But Jesus’ sufferings began shortly before His “trial”.

In Gethsemane, the human nature of Jesus knew that what was coming would be excruciating pain, would end in a horrible death. He cried. He was afraid. He asked that it not happen. His human nature responded just as ours does when we find out that we have an incurable illness, or a death in the family or of a friend. We cry, we wring our hands, we hurt, we cry out, “Please God, don’t let this be so.” Jesus knew that this was the reason, He came into this world. As a human, He could redeem mankind and once again, make it a holy people. So, He uttered the ultimate prayer, “…not my will, but Thine be done-1.”  And so, He was led away, taken to Pilate, and condemned to a horrible death.

His love for us shouts out with every torture inflicted upon Him, every pain He felt. Don’t lose sight of the fact that He has two natures, a Divine one and a human one. How this can be is not understood but is a belief we hold. We do know God does not suffer, and Jesus did. We also know that man cannot, of his own, suspend the laws of nature, but Jesus did. So everything that the Christ experienced during that time was felt by a man, allowed by God. Every time He was punched, struck with a stinging reed, whipped by a leather strap He felt with His human body. The thorns pressed into his scalp and forehead, falling onto the ground under the cross, being jolted by both the ground and the weight of the wooden cross, all of these His nerve endings, bones and muscles felt. We know that when we have a headache, or a back ache, our whole body seems to be out of whack, nothing seems right. How badly did Jesus feel, experiencing aches and pains in every part of His body?

We can wonder aloud, “Why did it have to be this bad?” That can be countered with the question, “How much would have been enough”? Man separated himself from God. In effect, man told God that He didn’t need Him. His actions shouted out that he could do what he wanted. He could choose what was good and what was not. He could be god. So what is necessary to repair this affront, this insult to God? Jesus gives up everything, his goods-2, his life-3 to regain the friendship that was lost. In so doing, His human act repairs, for all mankind, the relationship that man had forfeited.

You and I, now have something to do. Yes, we have been redeemed. Earlier, we spoke about how man separated himself from God. But, we continue to separate ourselves from God. We act as though we don’t need Him. We do what we want, boasting we know what is good for us, that we are self sufficient. We are not. We must recognize that Jesus did what He did, for us living in the here and now. He asks us to grow closer to Him, unite with Him, and follow His way of life.  “…let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.-4”  ……….. He died and was buried.      goto next segment

-1 Luke 22: 42-43
-2 Luke 9: 58 -Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air, nests; but the Son of man hath no place to lay his head
-3 Mark 15: 37 And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice gave up the ghost.

-4 Luke 9: 23