As I write this post, it is Saturday evening before Resurrection Day.
My thoughts turn towards our Savior and the salvation He purchased for us by His death, burial, and resurrection. There is no greater work in all of History. There is no more significant event that we celebrate in the Christian year. There is no more personal and life-changing act that has ever been performed by one person on behalf of another. There is no truth more central to our faith than the fact that Jesus died for us, taking our sin away; and physically rose again, Victor over death, and Lord of all Creation.
For this reason, I love holy week, and especially Resurrection Day.
A truth that has captured my attention in recent years has been the fact that in God’s eternal plan, a human body was required to secure our redemption.
Think about it…
Couldn’t God have made a way for salvation without taking on a human body?
Evidently not, since Jesus came to us, “born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4) just like every one of us. God with us. Wow!
Couldn’t Jesus have simply declared that we were forgiven?
Well, He did declare some people “forgiven” during His ministry on earth, but we know from Heb. 9:22 that “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Even those declarations must have been given in anticipation of His sacrifice of Himself
Couldn’t Jesus have cleansed us of our sins by allowing an animal to die?
Here again, Heb. 10:4 states clearly that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” It required a human sacrifice.
But didn’t Jesus bear our sins in His Spirit?
No, he actually bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24 & 1 John 2:2). If Jesus had not had a literal human body, we would not have salvation! For this reason He broke the bread and said, “This is my body, given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
But Did Jesus really give His blood to redeem us?
Yes, Jesus entered the Holy Place in heaven as our High Priest and obtained an “eternal redemption” for us “through His own blood.” (Heb. 9:12)
Was Jesus’ death sufficient to purchase our salvation?
Well, as odd as it may sound to say, evidently not. Paul made it clear in 1 Cor. 15:17 that if Jesus had not risen bodily back to life, then we would not have any hope for salvation, and we would still be in our sins!
Does Jesus still have his human body even today?
He sure didn’t leave it behind! In Acts 1:9-11, we read that Jesus ascended bodily into Heaven. What’s more, the disciples are told that Jesus would someday return in the same way they saw Him go. Jesus will also return bodily to this earth when He comes to reign forever.
This is what Jesus did for you and for me. Thanks be to God!
…Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:5-11)
Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!