The entirety of Scripture leads up to this point. The Most High God who put on a cloak of flesh marched to His death that He did nothing to deserve. Even while He was heading directly to the grave, His character never changed. He encourages the Daughters of Jerusalem, asks His Father for forgiveness for the people crucifying Him, He submitted to the Father’s will by staying on the cross, He pardoned the sins of the man hanging next to Him. These acts of love are consistent with His actions before facing this level of persecution and torment. If even in the most brutal death imaginable, our Lord went the extra mile for His people, then what convinces us that He doesn’t do the same for us all of the time? The crucifixion is the stark realization that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) and the fulfillment of so many prophecies found throughout the Old Testament.
Many people know that the story doesn’t end here though. The resurrection gives us hope that Jesus conquers death, but it doesn’t discount the suffering that our Lord went through on our behalf. He bled and died so that we could experience life in abundance and life everlasting with Him. If the crucifixion didn’t take place, we would have no chance of achieving unity with God. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works.” (Eph 2:4-5, 8)
Reflect on what Jesus did on the cross today. What is true about our standing with God because of the crucifixion? How does the crucifixion affect the way that we relate with God and with others?