On Easter we will celebrate the resurrection. Jesus wasn’t just resurrected, he IS the resurrection. So we’re not simply celebrating the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. He was not the first to rise again. That miracle had happened more than once already. But when Jesus hung on the cross, it was the first time that God had ever died. Two of the gospels recorded Jesus’ birth; all four record the crucifixion. In Matthew’s Gospel, he records the sky going dark until the 9th hour (3 p.m.). Only Matthew goes on to say that the veil was torn in the temple from top to bottom, and the graves of the saints opened up. The Old Testament saints went through the street of Jerusalem prophesying (Matt. 27:45, 51-53). The darkness, the earthquake, the veil, the saints, all highlight an extraordinary event taking place that day. I’m thinking of a few other scriptures beyond the gospels:
Philippians 2:5-11 details how he condescended to our level, first taking on humanity, then the role of a servant. He was not only obedient to death, but even to death on a cross.
Hebrews 2:9 explains that he tasted death for everyone. The incarnation was about Jesus experiencing everything we experience (hunger, pain, fear) and death is no exception.
And finally Isaiah 53:5
“But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.”
Jesus died. He died for you and me. He died to fulfill God’s plan of salvation. The one that did not know sin, became sin for us. They mocked him by saying “He saved others; he cannot save himself.” He could have. Let’s remember that he chose not to.