What really happened at the cross?
A necessary and wondrous transaction took place on the cross. Jesus endured a terrible flogging, taunting, spitting and the shame and torture of being nailed to a cross like a criminal. The Bible tells us that God’s wrath and punishment for sin was poured out on Jesus that day. Because Jesus willingly took the punishment that you and I deserve, we can be free from the wrath of God for our sin! Our sin debt has been paid. Jesus opened the way back to God. Reconciliation with God is available to those who believe!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 with emphasis added)
This is what Christians call, “The Divine Exchange.” It is the Gospel, the Good News…. this is Christianity!
Ephesians 5:21 states, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Through faith, believing in Jesus, our sin and the punishment due to us is exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus. Jesus paid for our sin by taking our place and enduring the punishment due to us. Through faith, we are forgiven, cleansed, and by God’s grace we become clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. We are reconciled to God and are promised eternal life.
What really happened at the empty tomb?
The heart of Christianity goes beyond the sacrificial death of Jesus. The fact that Jesus was victorious over the grave proves that He has power over death, that ultimate consequence of sin. Jesus overcame the grave, proving that He is still alive, He is all powerful, and everything that He says is true.
The entire event happened exactly as Jesus had predicted (Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23). Imagine the astonishment of the disciples and the other followers of Jesus when they saw Jesus, resurrected, and they remembered His words. The empty tomb is the evidence, the proof, the substantiation of Jesus’ claims that your sin has been paid and that by faith you receive forgiveness.
People may choose to ignore the crucifixion, the death of one person who was innocent and undeserving of such a cruel death. But we can’t ignore an empty tomb! No one can ignore that Jesus walked out of that grave. What it means is that Jesus is true and He is alive and if we believe and follow Him, we too will have eternal life.
Have you ever felt that deep revelation of truth? Have you experienced the realization that it’s all true, Jesus really rose from the grave and He’s alive? Have you repented of your sin, understanding that Jesus has paid your debt? If you believe this great and powerful truth, the Divine Exchange, then you have received what was promised by Jesus’ great sacrifice on the cross and His powerful resurrection.
That is why the empty tomb is the greatest and most important event in all of the world’s history.