What He did for us

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

-John 3:16

As believers all around the world gather to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus this Good Friday, may we be humbled in the knowledge that a perfect, sinless man, who was God in the flesh, bore the ultimate price for us all – and He did it all out of love for us.

His death was not mere symbolism; it was as real as the brutal beatings with whips – whips with metal razor-like edges hanging from the ends that bore into his flesh, a common punishment preceding crucifixion under Roman law.  His beating was so severe he was not recognizable as a man. In fact, the Old Testament book of Isaiah foretold of His suffering in vs. 52:14:  “Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.”

Jesus was also beaten with fists, spit upon, laughed at, dragged through the city being taunted, his beard torn, and he was made to stand trial only to be condemned to death when the people chose to free the thief and murderer Barrabbas (who was to be crucified) over him.

Over the years, many discussing the crucifixion often wonder how it could be the people chose freedom for Barrabbas but sentenced an innocent man to death. The truth of the matter is this:  Jesus knew his purpose on this earth was to die. It was the fulfillment of Mosaic law, and Jesus said so in Matthew 5:17 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” We must also be mindful of the fact that had Jesus not been sentenced to death, the world would have been – and it would have meant that Jesus was not who he claimed to be. Barrabbas certainly had a direct intervention from Jesus that day; all of us did.

Some have tried to cast blame for the death of Christ on various individuals or groups of people, but the truth of the matter is ALL of us sent Christ to the cross – even those yet to be born. To take it further – God himself made it possible for his only Son to die; otherwise, there would be no hope at all for humanity because there is no single person without sin. The one person who was truly without sin was hated, mocked, laughed at, beaten and ultimately killed because he dared to say he was the Son of God and teach accordingly.

Jesus’ death was not without significance; he was the ONLY sacrifice that could be made on our behalf.  A lamb is the symbol of innocence and purity – its blood used for the atonement of sins in the Old Testament. For Passover, Mosaic law forbids the breaking of the sacrificial lamb’s bones.  In the New Testament, Christ is the sacrificial lamb for the atonement of our sins. What was prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 34:20) and verified in the New (John 19:33-36) is Jesus’ bones were not broken even though it was a common practice after being crucified to break the legs to make sure one was dead. In the book of John, the soldiers saw that Jesus was already dead and did not break his legs; instead, a soldier pierced Jesus’ side – again, the law was fulfilled.

Jesus was God in the flesh. He lived among men and had a human body that felt pain, weariness, sadness, happiness, worry, sickness, temptation, hunger – everything we know in our finite, human existence. He also felt fear. It was not so much a fear of crucifixion itself, but knowing what was demanded of God for perfect justice. In the hours before his crucifixion, he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane ‘…let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt.‘  The ‘cup’ spoken of was not a fear of the cross itself Christ was referring to, but the cup was filled with God’s wrath. Yes, God is love – more than we can possibly know, but His wrath was the sin his Son would bear. Jesus’ agony was so great the sweat became large drops of blood falling from his head to the ground. He knew what was about to happen, but he also knew the very battle wherein the gates of Hell did not want His crucifixion to take place. When praying a third time, an angel came to give him strength to endure his earthly fate.

After being betrayed, arrested, interrogated, judged, mocked, tortured and ultimately, turned over to a brutal death, Jesus still willingly went to the cross. Even when the soldiers laughed and made a crown of thorns shoved onto his head in mockery to The King of the Jews, He didn’t hate them in return. His death was for them, too. After all, He came to save the world – all of it. The only thing He has asked of us is to believe, repent, accept and live for Him. I often ask myself, ‘It is such a simple request. Why is that so hard for me to do?’

As I reflect on the significance of this day and this Easter weekend, I am confronted with my own shortcomings which are many. What Jesus did is an example for all of us. No, he doesn’t require us to suffer as he did – only he could be our Savior, but we are to experience a ‘death of the old self’ which is what the sacrificial blood represents: death of the old life to make way for the new (made possible through the resurrection).

With that, I leave you this passage on this Good Friday highlighting the end of Christ’s earthly life which occurred about the noon hour all those years ago. Even after all that he had been through at the hands of the courts, citizens and soldiers, Jesus still had compassion for them (and us today) as he was nailed on the cross.

Luke 23:34,46-47 (NIV)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are

doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Jesus

called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my

spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The

centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely

this was a righteous man.”

Thank you, Jesus.

Love, Artgal


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15 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. fast1 says:

    Thank you Artgal, very nicely done a blessing for all

  2. Tinker says:

    Amen Artgal! Just beautiful! and doctrinally correct in my opinion. Sometimes I can hardly wrap my mind around the victory of Christ and that he allows us to be partakers of it. I humbly submit though that Christ didn’t know fear or worry, as those are mental attitude sins. And I hope you don’t mind if I add my thoughts on the wrath of God you mentioned. Specifically it was the three hours on the Cross, as supernatural darkness covered the earth, that God was imputing punishment for all the sins of mankind in human history. During those three hours Christ experienced separation from God-the true agony-which sadly is what eternity will be for the unbeliever separated from God.

    I loved your inclusion of Barrabbas. His part is often skipped over without much comment, but to me Barrabbas represented us; mankind. He went free while Christ went to the Cross. There is an absolutely beautiful song written by some local bluegrass singers from my hometown. It’s called “I Am Barrabbas.” Marty Raybon has recorded it, I hope you’ll look it up on youtube.

    • Artgal says:

      I don’t mind that you added your thoughts at all – totally welcome that. That’s why we’re TAMs 🙂

      Perhaps I should clarify something better regarding the very valid points you made, and I do completely see what you’re saying.

      It is true that worry and fear work against one’s faith and are sin. Because we are human and born into sin, it’s difficult to imagine what it was like for Jesus born sinless into human flesh. He knew how it felt to be human though he was (and is!) indeed the Son of God. So he knew how it felt to be tempted and what our struggles were. The difference was – because he is the Son of God – he could not sin. He would not have have been Jesus if he had.

      The fear I described was in his knowledge of the ‘cup’ of wrath to come. He knew it would happen before it actually came to pass on the cross – that’s what made his agony so great in the garden of Gethsemane. In fact, his agony was such that he prayed three times and on the third, an angel appeared to give him strength. When I bring up worry, He knew what it felt like though he was not a man of worry himself – just as he knew what fear and temptation felt like, but he did not submit to either.

      Tinker, you are one of the few people I have encountered who make the connection between Barrabbas and us! Indeed, we are all Barrabbas! When the arguments have taken place publicly or among friends, there’s been a fascination with how people could condemn an innocent man. The point is: we all condemned Jesus to the death we actually deserve. We are certainly all Barrabbas, and I, too, am puzzled on why his role in the crucifixion account is downplayed even in churches I have visited. Perhaps many – in congregations as well as the pulpit – are uncomfortable with the idea that ALL of us sin ‘…and come short of the glory of God’. Where Barrabbas received the direct intervention of Christ, it was entirely true that we all received that intervention in that moment. Very sobering.

      From the time I woke up this morning – about 5ish – the significance of this weekend has really hit me in a way that it has not before – not that I have failed to acknowledge it in the past at all; for some reason, it takes on a much different meaning in my life.

      I will definitely look up the song and thank you so much for suggesting it!

      Enjoy your Easter weekend, Tinker!

      • Tinker says:

        Artgal,thank you, I had a great Easter and am sure you did too. I should’ve added that I also knew what you meant…guess I just wanted it clarified, which you surely did! I too have learned that Christ simultaneoulsy was “able not to sin” as a man and “not able to sin” as God. Thanks again for your great post and reply, which line up with what I’ve been taught and believe. And thanks to Tammy for bringing you onboard officially.

  3. ffigtree says:

    Beautiful! Thank you Artgal.

  4. imacat says:

    Thank you, Artgal, that was beautifully written! One additional detail of major significance recorded by Matthew and Mark was that “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mt. 27:51, Mk. 15:38). The death of Jesus on the cross bridged the chasm between God and man that resulted from the sin of Adam and Eve, which the veil represented. No longer do we have to offer sacrifices to atone for our sin, for if we accept the atonement of Christ, we are forgiven and restored to the relationship which God created us to have with Him. Blessings and a happy Easter to all the TAMs!

  5. dennisl59 says:

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”-John 3:16

    When I read this, the first thing that came to mind were all the people that used to have this sign at sporting events, usually the dude that had the ‘rainbow wig’.

    But seriously, this is the most consequential, profound, bottom-line summary of the meaning of Easter; The Blood Sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. And when Christians proselytize this is the first thing they say. Why? They believe it because of Faith.

  6. 1ntbtn says:

    Thank you Artgal for posting Remembering Good Friday. We should all take time to be thankful for what Christ did on the cross for each and every one of us sinners. I feel blessed to be in the company of such wonderful TAMs. Happy and a Blessed Easter to all.

  7. HughM says:

    One of the most insightful and faith-building messages I have ever heard was/is the “Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Dr. Gene Scott. He taught on it every Easter for years and each time I listened to it, it would leave a lump in my throat. If you’ve never heard it, it represents one of the most amazing Bible studies you’ll ever hear. As Dr. Scott cross-references scripture after scripture and leads you to very obvious, but not mainstream, conclusions, there is only one obvious answer. But you have to hear it. He and his wife, Pastor Melissa Scott are on the internet.

  8. jimmer says:

    I thought this was awesome Artgal. Whenever Good Friday comes around, I always think about when Jesus cries out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I have been in many a debate about this. The question that I have is why at this point of perfect obedience to his Father’s will, did Jesus say this? I would love to hear your (or anyone’s)thoughts. I know taking one line out of scripture as opposed to the scripture as a whole might not be prudent, but…

    Ok I do have a story to tell. (I wish I had your blog as a refernece back then!) I was in a Calculus study group (DifEQ’s) back in college. The group consisted of 6 people. Me and 5 Vietnamese. I will always remember one of the females asking me on Good Friday (ok not being racist, jst saying what she said)’Why GOOD Friday? He die! He Die! I don’t understand!!!’

    • Artgal says:

      Hey there, Jimmer 🙂

      I hope my response is helpful.

      Yes, Jesus went in perfect obedience and knew what was in front of Him.

      We know from scripture the sky went dark for three hours: the sixth hour to the ninth. Jesus was coming to the end of his earthly life when he cried out ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ before committing his spirit to His Father and indicating his mission on earth was coming to an end (Matthew 27:45). It’s also important to point out the very same phrase is used in introducing Psalm 22. So when He cried out, He was drawing attention to an Old Testament phrase indicating he was fulfilling it right then: bearing the sins of the world.

      Interestingly, when I went back over Psalm 22, there are verses relating to the crucifixion itself (verses 11-18). What’s interesting is this: The Psalm was written hundreds of years before Christ – a time in which crucifixion was not practiced. So there was prophecy in that chapter. It even points out in vs. 17-18 ‘I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing’

      When I mentioned the agony Jesus suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, it was because he saw the cup – God’s wrath on sin. Jesus would be bearing every sin ever committed by every person on earth when He went to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ So Jesus became sin on our behalf – that’s what it meant to bear the sins of the world. God cannot look upon sin – he is too pure; therefore, he probably turned his back on Jesus – spiritually – when the sins of the world were upon his Son.

      As horrifying as the physical torture was for Jesus, I cannot help but think the spiritual torture in carrying all of our sins to the cross was far, far worse. We cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of such suffering – nor can we even begin to imagine how very, very loved we are! God must love us more than we can even begin to comprehend to have allowed his perfect Son to go through Hell for us.

      So, if you still see the woman who asked why we refer to Christ’s crucifixion and death as ‘Good Friday’, let her know what Jesus did was good for all of mankind. We would not have a prayer if Jesus had not died for us, but He also did not remain dead. Acknowledging the resurrection will take place tomorrow. The resurrection was Christ conquering death and preparing the way for us to live eternally through Him.

      • jimmer says:

        Thank you so much for this response! It has really helped me! Never knew of Psalm 22! Makes so much sense. You mentioned Gethsemane. Made me think of ‘Go to Dark Gethsemane’ one of my favorite hymns. I am a Lutheran and this is sung every year during Lent. A light bulb went off in my head. Thought of the line ‘learn of Jesus Christ to die’ Thank you! Happy Easter everyone!!!

  9. mariamcbean says:

    Thank you, Artgal, for this beautiful exposition of the unfathomable sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. And a very Happy Easter to Tammy and all TAMS!

  10. jeaneeinabottle says:

    To all TAMs have a wonderful blessed Easter, the best day ever for me! Always has been even when I was younger, didn’t get the bunny and egg thing. My wish for all is to have a personal relationship with God, first step just ask, you will never regret it. Happy Easter!

  11. LucyLadley says:

    Artgal, your writing blessed me. Thankyou!

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