Today we take a moment to be quiet and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for all of us. It’s humbling and sobering that death is the only way to be saved, and not even our death, but the death of another. Jesus’ death on the cross is one of the final steps of His mission on earth. He has worked through childhood, teenage years, young adulthood and 3 years of active teaching and ministry. The events leading directly up to Good Friday include visiting the Temple and ranting against those trying to take advantage of people there to worship, riding the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey with the crowds shouting ‘Hosanna,’ one last Passover supper with His closest friends, betrayal by one of those friends, trial in front of the spiritual leaders, trial before Governor Pilate, carrying His cross to be crucified and then the actual crucifixion and death.
Jesus lived more in his 30 some years that some of us do in 3 times that many years. He certainly endured more in these weeks and days than almost all of us ever will. Jesus had a closer relationship with God than any of us ever could, and yet on this His darkest day He felt like some of us do, that God had forgotten Him, was ignoring Him, or didn’t care any more about Him.
The book of John in the Bible shares that Jesus’ last words were “It is finished,” and for 3 days He was dead. It seemed like the story was over, there was no victory to be had. Everyone was shocked that He died and that it didn’t seem like He was who they thought He was, who He said He was.
In some ways His work was completed, He had finished the task He came there to do, dying for our sins. Being free from our sins is a huge deal, it’s not something we can do for ourselves and not something just anyone can do for us. It’s not something that can be taken from us, it’s a gift to us at the price of Jesus’ life. But Jesus went and did one better, He rose Easter Sunday morning and gave us the gift of eternal life.
So today I encourage you to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made and how He has freed us from our past, closing the book on those chapters of our lives. We don’t have to look back, we don’t have to let the past dictate our futures. Maybe today is the day to let go of something that you’ve been holding on to for too long, or something that has been holding you back. If Jesus was willing to go through death to free us for all eternity, surely we can work through the discomfort or fears that we feel about breaking from our past. After all, Easter Sunday followed Jesus’ death 3 days later, so we should have hope that our free futures would be just as bright.