When Christ took his last breath, the people and His disciples thought it was all over.
But now, reading the Easter story in the Bible we know that this is the new beginning, the start of the New Testament of Christ.
It was given to us through the cross.
And, with this sacrifice He made, Jesus promises hope and eternal life for those who believe.
Easter Story – Jesus Dies on the Cross
When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.
At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabaktanei?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
And when some of the bystanders heard Him, they began saying, “Look! He is calling for Elijah!”
And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down.”
But Jesus let out a loud cry, and died.
And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw that He died in this way, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
Now there were also some women watching from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.
When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and serve Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem. – Mark 15:33-41 NASB
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabaktanei?”
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” These are Christ’s words during the ninth hour.
Is Jesus saying that God has abandoned Him? Many biblical scholars differ in opinion.
But, there’s no doubt Jesus was quoting Psalm 22.
He expressed His pain and anguish and repeated the first line from the Old Testament verse about how the Messiah would die for the sins of the world.
Later, He would go on to say; “It is accomplished.”
With these famous words, death has been defeated — Sin no longer holds a bond on those who accept Him as Savior!
So, our meager attempt to please God fails. But, Christ never fails us. We are accepted into God’s presence because of what Christ did.
This could conclude the Bible lesson in itself but I’d like for us to explore one more point…
The Crucifixion of Christ and how He Died on the Cross
Let’s take a closer look at what happened on that Good Friday – and why.
The torn curtain:
This was a very heavy curtain hanging in the Most Holy Place where only the high priest was allowed in once a year on the Day of Atonement.
On that day the high priest would go and make a sacrifice to take on the sins of the people who had no direct access to God.
God Becomes Accessible
When Christ died, the curtain was torn from top to bottom.
This is very symbolic in that it means we can now go to the “Most Holy Place” and talk directly to God through Jesus Christ.
All we have to do now is to believe in Him.
Whenever we want to talk to God we only have to say “Father” or “Dear God” and we are in His presence. Isn’t that wonderful?
Jesus died and took the place of the yearly sacrifice forever so that we could be saved from sin and eternal death.
I thank God that Jesus took on my death and sins, and the sins of the world, aren’t you?
Have You Received Christ?
If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 and take the first steps to becoming a follower of Christ.
Love in Christ
P.S. I searched for an appropriate song to fit this Easter Story. I couldn’t find one more fitting than “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”. Listen, and you might agree…