The Day Jesus Died
Matthew 27: 34-56; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-30; The Desire of Ages, pp. 741-764
We serve God when we share His love with others.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Do you love someone so much that you would do anything for them? God loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to save us. And Jesus was willing to die for us.
Jesus’ terrible night of insults and beatings was finally over. Now the Roman soldiers were taking Him and two thieves outside the city to crucify them. Simon had carried Jesus’ cross to the place of crucifixion. The awful deed would soon be done.
The Bible simply says, “They crucified Him.” The people who lived when the Gospels were written knew what that meant. They knew crucifixion caused a slow, painful death. They knew a crowd would often follow the prisoners to the place of execution, shouting insults along the way. They knew soldiers would nail the hands and feet of the prisoners to the cross. They knew those soldiers would drop the cross into a hole in the ground. Yes, they knew it was the worst possible way to die.
And that is exactly what happened to Jesus. The soldiers nailed Him to the cross, then placed the cross between the crosses of two thieves. The crowd that had followed them out of the city gathered around. The mocking that had been going on all night continued.
“If You really are the Son of God, come down from that cross!” one shouted.
“He saved others, but He can’t save Himself,” another sneered.
“Come down from the cross, and we’ll believe in You,” another said scornfully.
“If God wants Him, let God rescue Him,” laughed yet another. “After all, He said He was the Son of God.” And so it went, on and on. Even a thief who was crucified with Him shouted insults at Him.
Although the pain and mocking were terrible, something even worse was happening to Jesus. When He came to earth to die for us, Jesus took our sins on Himself. The guilt of every person who would ever live was resting on Him as He hung on the cross. The sense of sin was so great that He felt God had left Him forever. That feeling of abandonment by His Father caused Jesus to cry out, “My God, My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” Even though He thought He might never see His Father again, Jesus was still willing to die for us.
But God the Father had not abandoned Jesus. God and all the angels in heaven were watching and suffering with Him. Even the earth reacted to His agony. Darkness covered the area for three hours, and when Jesus finally died, “the earth shook and the rocks split” (Matthew 27:51).
Do you love anyone so much you would be willing to die a horrible death to save them? That’s how much Jesus loves you. He loves you so much there is nothing He wouldn’t do to save you.
That love is the core of Christianity. It’s the reason for every song we sing, every prayer we pray, everything we do.
That love is the message we are asked to share with others. Who doesn’t need to know they are loved that much? Who couldn’t help loving a God who would do absolutely anything to save them? Tell someone you know!