It Wasn't The Nails That Held Jesus On The Cross

Vol 3., No. 8
April 2011
by Brady Tarr, Attorney Ministries Coordinator

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade." (1 Peter 1:3-4a)

"It wasn't the nails that held Jesus on the cross.What held Jesus on the cross was His selfless love for all those who repent of their sin and put their faith in Him.I encourage you to reflect with me on the person and work of Jesus Christ as we look forward to celebrating Resurrection Day this Sunday.

What did it mean when Christ cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" When Jesus said this, God the Father was forsaking Jesus NOT in the same sense of forgetting him and certainly not of hating him.Rather, God the Father was punishing His Son, treating Him AS IF HE WERE all the sin that He was then bearing.Jesus accepted this cup full of the wrath of God.This is why He came.Jesus cried out in anguish because He bore and experienced the fullness of His Father's wrath on our behalf.

The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ is found at the heart of a Christians hope.If Christ had not died as the substitute for all Christians then we would have no hope of escaping the eternal wrath of God because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 6:23).The wages of our sin is death (Rom. 7:23a), but while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).Yes, a Christian must understand that God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).Christ's death was a substitutionary death because He experienced the wrath of God and died in our place.He was our willing substitute.As John Piper recently observed, there was only one person that God ever treated worse than He deserved, and Jesus was that person.

This should extremely humbling for all of us to think about because we should be reminded of the foolishness of the temptation to boast in our own work or accomplishments as what has earned or will earn our righteous standing before God.In Romans 3:27-31 it says:

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faithapart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one-who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (See also Titus 3:4-7, Rom. 4:1-6, Eph. 2:8-10)

Christ's work, as our substitute, accomplished the work of redemption for all those who would trust in Him through faith.We were not the author or perfecter of our faith; Christ is both (Heb.12:2).Christ found joy in knowing what His death, His shameful death on a cross, was accomplishing (Heb. 12:3).For our sake he died in order to bring us to God.

The resurrection is one thing that makes Christianity unique.There are and have been many leaders of religious sects who have proclaimed great and wondrous things while they were living, but each of them is dead.Buddha is dead.Muhammad is dead. Joseph Smith is dead.But Jesus is ALIVE!He died, but uniquely rose from the dead conquering sin and death.

As we look forward to Resurrection Day, keep in mind what my pastor thoughtfully said regarding Christ dying on a tree: "our trials which began at another tree would end decisively at this tree, the true Tree of Life!"Hallelujah what a Savior!

Recommended Sermons on Easter

(Two of the best I have ever heard! I accidentally put the wrong link in the last devotional)

Jesus' was Less Popular Than a Terrorist - Mark 15:1-15


Jesus Was Forsaken by God - Mark 15:16-41


FEEDBACK... I welcome any feedback regarding these devotionals.Feel free to speak your mind.


Father, please cause our minds and thoughts to be consumed with a reverent awe of you and the work of salvation that you accomplished through Jesus Christ. May you help us where we are weak in our faith against sin and unbelief. Thank you for your grace and patience with us. Help us to forgive in such a way that models how we have been/are forgiven by you as undeserving sinners. Amen.