What a story, every time I read it or hear it it never ceases to amaze me. We stagger at the incarnation, but this parrellels and transcends that part of the story.
In the incarnation we see God taking on human flesh, yes, real flesh and blood, and living here in the confines of our own sinful flesh, broken and ruined by the Fall. Yet in the resurrection we encounter that same flesh rising from the dead having gone through the death of death! It was unheard of. A man had gone through ‘hell’ and come out the other side.
How? Because, throughout his life Jesus said yes to the Father, right to the very end in the garden of Gethsemane when the propensity of what he was facing caused him to sweat as it were great drops of blood and he said, ‘nevertheless not my will but yours be done,’ and for the joy that was set before him he continued the task he set out to accomplish.
For all the accusations that were brought against him Pilate could find no fault in him. Jesus throughout his life had fulfilled all righteousness and then at the end he ‘was made to be sin for us,’ and dies the just for the unjust. As God and man he takes our place – yours, mine.
Then, on Good Friday he goes down into death bearing our sin, a death so dark a haunting darkness covers the land for three very long hours, a darkness quite unlike any other.
Darkness clouds the Son.
Then a cry pierces the dark eeriness, ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me?’ and with a loud cry he breathed his last. Across town there was a huge tearing sound coming from the temple as the massive thick curtain separating God’s part from the rest was mysteriously torn from top to bottom. At the same time the earth began to shake, and in the local cemetery tombs suddenly opened and dead people came to life and walked into the city! What was all this about?! What drama! No one had ever died like this.
Then on the third day death could not keep its prey any longer, Jesus as man rises from the dead, the power of sin, Satan, death and hell crushed forever! No battle or victory was ever so great, neither will there be another one like it. This was once for all, and One for all.
Yes something happened at Easter that will never be excelled this side of the return of Jesus. Something that has changed the course of human history, something that has impacted millions of lives bringing forgiveness, reconciliation, deliverance, new life, and glorious hope and will continue to do so until he comes again in glory. It is the most transforming event!
Have you encountered him?