The Death and Resurrection of Jesus is essential to the core of Christian theology. In fact, it’s what sets us apart from all other religions. Something that amazes me about Jesus is that the movement of Christianity actually grew exponentially larger after His death.
Consider many political and religious leaders who had a great impact during their lifetime, and you may see that their teachings and followers dwindle in the years after they have passed. Their life is what sparked the interest of others, and they were able to gain momentum during their time on earth.
Jesus, however, started a revival that began and grew with death; and not only death, but also the death of death. And then He birthed new life!
As a young girl, I remember lying outside on my front lawn with my dad and older brother. It was a warm spring night and the stars were shining bright in the darkness. We put a blanket on the ground and looked at the deep, dark sky as my dad talked to us about eternity. As a child, death is a startling reality; it strikes fear into your bones at the very thought of being without or being somewhere apart from what and who you know.
In the hours leading up to the crucifixion, we know that Jesus himself was troubled and grieved by the daunting responsibility of His death on the cross. He asks God in prayer, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). If the cup had passed from Jesus, it would have meant the death of the whole world.
We have questions for God that may start with “why?” and “was there another way?” but what we see in the prayer relationship between Jesus and His Father is that God was up to something, and that something was LOVE. Jesus dying meant the death of death!
I’m comforted when I look at the death of Jesus because we truly find hope at the cross. Jesus’ death was a supernatural moment that would destroy death and move us into a new life in Him, giving us an opportunity to experience everlasting love for eternity.
On this Good Friday, we know that Jesus’ death was only the beginning of what He was sent to accomplish. He died on the cross in our place and defeated sin. Three days later He would defeat death forever, giving us the promise of life eternal by His resurrection.
Jesus says in John 12:24, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Jesus knew that the movement He was about to begin would surpass His life and His death, and that it would allow the entire world access to this new life in His resurrection.
We don’t always understand the trials and pain we experience in this life, but we know that victory is around the corner, and it’s found only in Jesus Christ crucified and raised to life!