Jesus faced the cruelty of his crucifixion as a victor. His amazing response to the state and religious leaders who connived together to execute him was his prayer, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”(Luke 24:32). Jesus did not call for revenge. Jesus practiced the values of the kingdom of God which he had preached, calling people to repentance from their wayward values.
Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for the wages of our sins, so that we do not have to reap eternal consequences of our actions. Isn’t this good news? That I do not have to live under fear or stress of the load of my sinful life. Salvation is a gift from God in the form of Christ Jesus. We cannot earn it, nor do we deserve it, but God in His gracious love comes down to our human level to take us by our hand and raise us up to Himself.
The resurrection was the supreme public demonstration of the identity of Jesus. He was indeed God incarnate, the Son of God (Romans 1:3–4). Jesus died for our sins and on the third day he bodily rose again from the dead. Those who believe in him will be raised from the dead as well.
In Christ, the eternal divine life enters the human and finite life, bringing fullness of life (John 10:11). Jesus rose from the dead and in him the risen life overcomes the ultimate suffering of death. Jesus overcame sin, death and Satan. So do we, as we trust in him.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell is Principal of Caleb Institute of Theology and General Secretary of Asia Evangelical Alliance.