Today's Devotional

Who Killed Jesus? (8 April)

At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, which lasted for three hours. At about three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why did you abandon me?" Some of the people standing there heard him and said, "He is calling for Elijah!" One of them ran up at once, took a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, put it on the end of a stick, and tried to make him drink it. But the others said, "Wait, let us see if Elijah is coming to save him!" Jesus again gave a loud cry and breathed his last. Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split apart, the graves broke open, . . . When the army officer and the soldiers with him who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified and said, "He really was the Son of God!"
Matthew 27:45-51, 54

The film by American director and actor Mel Gibson graphically depicted the severe torture and pain endured by Christ. Gibson received much criticism because of the film's portrayal of the role played by the Jews in the death of Jesus. Critics said it might contribute to anti-Semitism and increased fanaticism against the Jews. When Gibson appeared in a long television interview to defend the film and address the criticism, the interviewer asked him, "Who then crucified Christ? Who killed him?" Gibson replied confidently: "I did. We all did. Our sins are the reason."

Yes. We are the ones who crucified Jesus. Our sins were the cause of his death. The moments of Christ's death were the darkest and most severe moments in human history. The universe lost its light as a result of the sadness and depression. Christ, who lived on our earth completely holy and blameless without ever committing any sin, had become sin for us, to die in our place. In return, we have been granted life. The Bible says, "Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21).

This was the greatest business transaction in the history of mankind: Christ took our sin and its wages (death), and we obtained his righteousness and eternal life.

Why did he do it? What made Christ suffer to the point of death? The answer is found in one word: love. "God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life." (John 3: 16)

May we, as we encounter this love, give our lives to him who loved us and gave himself for our sake. May we be able to say with the words of the hymn:

"And how, after I have known such love and experienced the grace of the great Lord, Can I do evil and wound his heart, Saddening my Lord and close friend? I cannot…I cannot, facing such love, I cannot …I cannot, dwell in sin."

- 8 APRIL -

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