“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:13-15 NIV
The Hope-Filled Cross
We often focus on the resurrection when we think about Easter and the work of salvation. Here we are reminded that the victory was won on the cross.
The resurrection was evidence that Jesus was who He said He was, but if we only needed a resurrection, there would have been no need for the cross. Jesus could have died an old man with no need for the pain, suffering and humiliation of the cross. I wish it could have been that easy.
But, He came to pay a price. He came to die for our sins. He took the penalty of our sin on his own shoulders.
Have you ever considered that your sin deserved the cross?
The Bible tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:23
Quite frankly, the penalty for sin is death. We deserved the cross. We received grace.
“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24
Addict, thief, adulterer, murderer, faithless, doubter, worrier, liar, cheater. We all deserve the cross. Instead, we receive grace immeasurable.
This day we often think about the silence of God, the heartbreak of a mother who lost her son to an indescribable death, and the hopelessness of His followers.
We forget He promised them He would rise again. They may have been confused by their circumstances, but I often wonder, did they still have hope? Did they still believe it was possible that he would, he could, come back? They had seen so many miracles. Maybe with God, anything was possible. Just maybe.
His disciples scattered when he was arrested. They left him. Judas betrayed him. Peter denied him. Yet Grace hung there on that cross to save them and to save us.
“because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”” Mark 9:31
Did they remember his promises? Did his mother hold onto hope? Did they believe?
I believe there was deep sorrow but also a sense of awe and anticipation that Silent Saturday. There was probably some confusion as well. They discussed his words, his promises, and his miracles. They lamented over ever detail of the three and a half years they had spent with him. Certainly, this had not been too good to be true.
The Triumphant Day
And then Jesus sealed the deal! He rose again! Death was defeated. Doubt died on that glorious day. His disciples would no longer question who He was. He was Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. His mother now understood his calling and her purpose. They would never again waver in their faith. They would die for Him.
Today, like then, the enemy determines to steal our faith and rob us of our hope. We wait for his promised return, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt He will come back soon. We know because we know every promise He ever made was fulfilled. Love has triumphed.
We can look forward with hopeful anticipation and believe for ourselves and our families and our prodigals that when Christ said, “it is finished”, he meant it.
This Saturday is far from silent. It speaks to us today even as it did to the heartbroken followers years ago who waited for death to come back to life. Many of your situations look dead, hopeless, but they are not!
Jesus is alive and because He lives, there is hope! Hallelujah!