Two of the Gospel writers wrote of the birth of Jesus Christ. All four writers give a brief account of the Resurrection of Christ. But they all give a detailed account of His Crucifixion. The defining act of Christ’s life was His death. This willful and sacrificial act was ultimately the death of death in all of its manifestations. The effects of this event will continue to reverberate throughout eternity.
From noon until 3:00 in the afternoon on that providential Friday, just outside of Jerusalem, surrounded by a hysterical mob, confronted by hypocritical religion, military brutality, the cynical Roman political system, and the abandonment of His disciples, Jesus prayed seven brief prayers. Each of these prayers can stand alone but none of them are isolated from the others. Each time Jesus opened His mouth He shattered the gates of hell and simultaneously opened the way into His Kingdom.
Jesus Christ on the cross displays for us that faith in God is not an escape from reality, but a plunge into it in all of its dimensions, even death. Salvation was accomplished, redemption was complete, and forgiveness was available. Now our lives can be radically changed and comprehensively re-created and restored.
We will examine and explore these prayers from the cross in our next post.