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3 Details of Christ's Death That We Need to Remember



If you haven't read Tuesday's post yet, I'd absolutely encourage you to jump into that one first! It was so powerful and genuinely felt like the Holy Spirit pouring out something that I needed to hear, and I was so grateful for that. Today, though, we're continuing to prepare our hearts for Easter and celebrate the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf. It was important to me that I was extra intentional with this post and created something that truly brought us back to Jesus' heart - not just something that added more to our to-do list or brushed over the significance of Easter.


So, I want to bring us back to the details. There's two statements that Christ made while He hung on the cross, and I want to dive into that and uncover some truths that might just speak to us a little differently in our lives right now. And, I want to remind us of what happened after Christ's death as well.


Before we jump in, though, can I just say a prayer for us?


Father, thank You for Easter. Thank You for this disruption in our every day routines, this reminder to return to the foundation of what we believe. Thank You for bringing us back to our knees at the foot of the cross and revealing to us the power of Christ's sacrifice. Thank You for the love and mightiness in His death and resurrection. Thank You that it still matters and that it still saves and that the invitation is still open. Thank You for what You have to speak to us and teach us today. Thank You, Father, for all that You are and all that You do. Amen.


1."Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

How many of us can read this and instantly know what it means? Don't worry, I wasn't expecting you to. But while He was hanging on the cross, in some of His last moments, this is what Jesus declared: "my God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" This experience of such pain and rejection left Jesus feeling as if His Father had left and abandoned Him. And while Jesus knew the purpose and the reason for all of it, and even though He knew that God hadn't actually left, the feelings and hurt were still so real.


Have you ever been in that place? Maybe are you currently facing these feelings? Same same, sweet friend. There are seasons in our faith when the Father's voice feels far, when His presence seems absent, and we grow discouraged because it feels as if He's just left. My mind likes to tell me that He doesn't care anymore, that I've gone too far for real this time, that He couldn't love someone like me. I convince myself that I'm too broken, too much, not enough, and He's gone. And while Jesus didn't do anything wrong, even though He was the embodiment of perfection, He still wrestled with these thoughts and feelings.


That's honestly really comforting to me. I'm not alone. Jesus even felt like the Father had left.


He hadn't, of course. God promises to never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). That promise held true while Christ was on the cross, and it remains true for us today. We can be confident that God is good, all the time, that He is faithful and His presence is constant. We can trust that He is working all things for our good and His glory, and that His love for us is steadfast.


But sometimes, we have to wrestle with those truths. Sometimes we have to sit in the struggle of God feeling far and chase after Him, even then. Sometimes we have to cry out to God when it seems as if He's left us and ask Him to meet us in those broken, hurt, vulnerable places.


Maybe it's there that the Lord makes miracles happen.


2. "It is finished." (John 19:30)

This is the last thing Jesus said before He gave up His spirit on the cross and died. After this, the curtain of the temple was split in two, and many tombs broke open (Matthew 27:51-53). But I want to settle on the "finished" part. What exactly did He mean?

The Greek word used here is "tetelestai", which means the fulfillment of something. It's used as a synonym to "finish", "fulfill", "accomplish", or "pay". And that's what Jesus did. He fulfilled everything that had been said about Him, all of the prophesies and all of the promises. He completed the work on the cross and defeated sin in that moment, ending its power in our life and its reign over our hearts. He reunited us with the Father and paid the price for our every mistake. Jesus didn't say this out of defeat or surrender, but triumph, because He overcame. The Enduring Word commentary described it as this:


"It was all finished, paid in full, accomplished.

· The types, promises, and prophecies were finished.

· The sacrifices and ceremonies of the priesthood were finished.

· His perfect obedience was finished.

· The satisfaction of God’s justice was finished.

· The power of Satan, sin, and death was finished."


It was all brought to an end, one where Jesus reigns and He holds the victory. And in Him, when we choose to believe in who He is and what He's done, we get to claim that victory too. We get to walk in faith that our sin really is covered and paid for - and it's over. We get to have confidence that our eternity in heaven is sealed - once and for all. We get to celebrate that every battle and struggle we face right now has already been won - and we're on the winning team.


It's over, it's finished. Christ is the King, yesterday, today, and forever, and no one can take that away. Our identity, hope, salvation, and freedom is finalized, and that's such a reason to celebrate. It's why we celebrate Easter!


3. There were 3 days of grief, death, and heartbreak.

But if you were there, and in Jesus' circle, His death didn't feel like a celebration or a victory. It felt like defeat, heartbreak - like a let down. No one saw it coming, and everyone thought that He would have saved Himself. They wanted Him to overcome and claim the victory, but they thought He would do it in a big, loud, military defeat kind of way. That just wasn't Jesus, though.


So for 3 days, Jesus' disciples and family grieved the loss of Jesus. This man they loved and invested in, who they gave up their whole lives for, was gone. Just like that, in such a humiliating way. They had to try to grasp everything that He taught them and process what just happened right before their eyes, and sort through all of the confusion. Just like you and I do, they felt heartbreak and grief so deeply, and they had to face the disappointing questions that Jesus' death left them with.


They had to wait for the victory to come. They didn't know that three days later, Jesus was going to rise from the dead and shock the world.


And that's the way faith really works. We don't know how our story is going to end, and we don't see the end of the battle. A lot of us are living on Friday or Saturday, sitting in disappointment and confusion and heartbreak - when Sunday, the resurrection and miracle, is right around the corner.


But we too have to wait for it. Our "Sunday" may not come in 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or even 3 years. We will have to process the heartbreak, heal from disappointment and defeat. We have to face the questions and trust that God is still good, even when the situation is the opposite of good. We can't give up on our faith, even though it almost feels as if it would be easier to give up on everything.


Because the miracle, healing, and answered prayer will come. It is on its way, in perfect timing. And even though the waiting is hard and uncomfortable, the Lord is working on something in the background, just like He was working on the resurrection. So even before whatever we're waiting for comes, we can choose to celebrate and worship because we know that He won't leave us without His stamp of peace and miraculous power on our life.

 

These are three details of Jesus' death and the Easter story that really stuck out to me, and I'm so grateful that the Lord pulled them to my attention. I'm reminded of Christ's character and humanity, and how He too dealt with feeling like the Father was far. I'm encouraged by that, and so humbled by the fact that He finished it all on the cross. He claimed the victory and paid the price for my sins, and it's all over. And I'm thankful that even though waiting for the promise is an unavoidable part of our faith, the promise is coming, and Jesus will never let us down.


Are there any other details of the Eater story that really stuck out to you? Let me know down in the comments below; I love to hear from you!


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