A Death That Gives Life3 min read

Something very unusual is at work in the Easter event. Death, even in our time, is commonplace. But resurrections are not ordinary! Whenever Jesus raised or revived someone dead, the people had trouble dealing with the event. (And who wouldn’t?)

On the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples (says St. Mark) were not so much preoccupied with Jesus’ mysterious transfiguration as they were with his cryptic remark forbidding them to relate that day’s events “until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead.” They were puzzling over what “rising from the dead” meant.

Well, what does it mean? What does it mean to you?! Do you live as if it made any difference in life’s scheme of things? Most people are living toward death. Many people hope their lives will be long, full of memorable events and loving family ties, with a measure of freedom from suffering. Yet death is coming, and they know it’s inevitable.

In that sense, Jesus’ death is quite commonplace. He would have died anyway, one might say, so why the fuss over His early demise? Even on the harsh nature of his execution, another might say (to put the best construction on the affair) that justice does misfire sometimes, or “people’s passions do carry them to excesses, unfortunately.” Ah, but the difference and the point here are the PURPOSE.

Purpose is the Key

For what purpose did He die?

For the religious leaders and the Establishment, He died expediently, lest the whole nation perish by Roman retaliation …

For Judas, He died because He failed to meet Judas’ expectations of power and success …

For the Romans, He died to snuff out a popular revolt and religious revival that could have ended who knows where later on …

For the crowds, He died to give them one good chance to vex the Romans and enjoy an afternoon’s morbid sport

For Barabbas, He died that Barabbas might live … I believe there’s something in that purpose we ought to consider, don’t you? Maybe Barabbas could be the embodiment of all us sinners. (The gravity of his crime is striking, but ours are no less damning!)

The purpose, as God saw it, was indeed that Jesus must die, but not for temporary relief from Rome’s brutality or for a spring afternoon’s sport to salve a traitor’s fallen hopes. He died so that others—all others—might live. He died so that our many and grievous sins might be done away with forever through His death. He died so that you might live into the eternity that lies ahead in close fellowship and family bonds with the Father in heaven. He died so that you might live now in a vibrant hope and a joy-filled faith. He died so that you might know and understand what “rising from the dead” means firsthand and no longer fear the grave. He died to bring you life.

If you believe this and claim its saving purpose for your life … then you’ll share in the resurrection of Jesus … and Easter will be the review of your own eternity with God … and then only Death will be extraordinary. It will be no more!

God bless you with joyful Easter hope!

Image (c) Kevin Carden/Lightstock

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About the Author

Rev. John Weldon is the interim pastor at Trinity-St. James, Munger

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Brian Welsh - April 19, 2019

AMEN!! I believe in the power of JESUS CHRIST my LORD and Savior!!