The crucifixion of Jesus, as strong an act of love as it was, means little without the resurrection. This blog is longer than I usually make them, but I hope you'll stick it out to the end and get some revelation with me. Let me give you a few details of crucifixion. This was a preferred method of punishment by the roman empire that was inflicted on countless people. The idea of this method of death was to inflict the most pain and humiliation possible. Crucifixion was a style of death that was so degrading that in fact you had to be a slave, peasant, lower class, commit certain horrible crimes, or non-roman to even be given this type of death sentence.
Flogging and scourging was done before EVERY crucifixion. I won't go into the details of what flogging entailed, most of us know, but let's just say, pain, lots of pain. They planned on beating criminals to the point of near death before their ultimate humiliation and death.
After the flogging and scourging they were tied to the cross bar part of the cross (75-125 lbs) to carry to the crucifixion site. At this point a roman soldier would carry a sign to be nailed to the cross soon, that stated what the criminal was being punished for. It's not shocking that Jesus sign said, "This is Jesus, King of the Jews"
Do you realize that even during His punishment they couldn't actually assign a crime to Him? It was common for these signs to say the sinner's name, and then their crime. For instance "Jessika Tate, murderer" or "Jessika Tate, adulterer" etc. Now I'm just sharing my opinion here, but of all the things that they accused Jesus of, shouldn't the sign read, "This is Jesus, Blasphemer" ? ? ? Even as they tried to assign a sin to blame Him of, they were unable to ever actually attach it to Him! This should bring new understanding to Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.... Why is it our heritage? Notice this is right after Isaiah 53. It is our heritage because Jesus first set the precedence. I won't go off on that today, maybe another day!!
It was the criminal's job to carry his cross, but Jesus had been beaten so brutally that the guard had simon the cyrene help. This shows the enormity of Jesus' beating and injuries compared to the normal abuse.
Then we arrive at the crucifixion site where it was customary for them to offer wine and myrrh as a mild pain killer. Jesus refused it. Jesus refused to "take the edge off". He knew what His suffering was for and He knew His withstanding every bit of pain, every bit of sin, every weight, every gash, every whipping, was for a purpose. Then Jesus was offered wine and vinegar on the stalk of the hyssop plant. The hyssop plant was used in OT times to apply the blood of the sacrifice on the door posts...
Are you getting what I'm saying? Though many had been crucified before and many more to come. Jesus crucifixion was already different. There's much more information I could share, but I want to get to the point. Though all of this made Jesus' death different, it still means nothing without a resurrection.
On the third day something supernatural occurred. Jesus resurrected. A cross without a resurrection is just another crucifixion.
Now I want to ask you a question. Have you been crucified and resurrected with Him? "Here is a trustworthy saying, if we died with Him, we shall live with Him" (2 Tim. 2:11) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but He lives in me and the life I do live in the flesh I live in faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20) "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the Father, we too may live in NEW LIFE" (Romans 6:4)
There's more scriptures than I can fit in this blog on our dying and resurrecting with Him, but there's a few in particular that catch my attention in Hebrews both chapters 6 and 10, but I"ll just focus on 10. Basically it says we know that Jesus died for our sins, so that we might be cleansed then it says... "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment..." and then... "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?"
Jesus took a brutal death, He hung on a cross, He defeated death and sin when He had not sinned and therefore did not deserve death ("for the wage of sin is death"), and why? Two reasons. 1) God loves us. 2) God hates sin.
The fact that Jesus bore it all for us and made the way for us, does not stop God from hating sin. What Jesus did was provide a way that I (a person with a flesh that sins) could still go spend time with my Daddy and instead of God having to be upset because He hates my sin, instead He sees the blood of Jesus which covers sin.
What am I saying? May we take up the call to be crucified and resurrected with Jesus. May our flesh die and the Spirit of the living God rise up because though I am blameless in the sight of God because of Jesus' righteousness, God still hates sin. Hebrews says that I can trample under foot the very Son of God, it says that I can INSULT the Spirit of grace.
May we understand what Jesus did in His death, and may we grow in understanding of the power of His resurrection. Never forgetting that we cannot have Christianity without Christ. Religion without the resurrection is powerless.
IT IS THE RESURRECTION THAT GIVES US POWER OVER SIN AND DEATH. Jesus Christ defeated sin for us, so that we may no longer sin, He defeated death, so that we might live.
The cry of my heart, "May the Lamb that was slain, receive the reward of His suffering".
Be Blessed, J. Tate