At the heart of the Christian message are the explosive words of Jesus as he died on a Roman cross in the first century. “It is finished!” he exclaimed (John 19:30)—and at those words, the earth shook, time as we know it split in two, and the relationship between God and people changed forever.
In essence, “It is finished” was Jesus’s own declaration that the debt his people owed for their treason against God had been completely satisfied by his perfect life and sacrificial death. Their debt was paid in full. In his love for us, he paid the penalty that we couldn’t possibly discharge. He lived the life that we should have lived but couldn’t and died the death that we deserved to die but didn’t. Those words and that cross, a symbol of fear and horror to ancient people, became the Good News—indeed the best news that anyone had ever heard. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,” Paul would later write (2 Cor. 5:19). The sign of fear became the emblem of hope, and the words of a dying man were a life-giving announcement from God himself.
How could this be? Because after uttering those words as he hung on a cross on a Friday afternoon, Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning. Jesus’s resurrection wasn’t merely God’s exclamation point on Jesus’s words or even the vindication of Jesus and his suffering. In the resurrection, God announced the defeat of death and the grave; he liberated people who through the fear of death had been living as slaves; he reversed the curse of the catastrophe that had befallen and bedeviled the human race and the planet and entire cosmos.
Because of what Jesus did on Friday afternoon and what happened to him on Sunday morning, we can be certain that our sins are forgiven, that we are beloved of God, that our hope for the eternal future is secure, and that our world, broken and bruised by the wounds we inflicted on it, will be healed and restored. This is the indispensable heart of Christianity.
This is an excerpt from David Cassidy’s new book, ‘Indispensable’. To learn more about the book or order a copy, please follow this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1629954268/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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