Duration: 365 days
THE PERFECT SACRIFICE
The religious leaders are looking for a way to seize Jesus, so they can hardly believe it when Judas offers to betray Jesus and follows through.
Jesus is arrested and the disciples scatter. When Jesus is brought before the Jewish ruling council, the high priest asks him if he is the Messiah. Jesus answers plainly: “I am” (Mark 14:62). Even though it’s the truth, it’s blasphemy to the religious leaders. They declare Jesus as worthy of death.
Early in the morning, the religious council takes Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor who has authority in capital cases. Because it’s Roman custom to release a Jewish prisoner at Passover, Pilate gives the people the opportunity to release Jesus. But they choose a convicted murderer instead, demanding Jesus’ death.
Roman soldiers beat him, mockingly clothing him in royal purple and placing a crown of thorns on him. They nail him to a cross and put a sign above his head: “the king of the jews.” Jesus the King is mocked as a king. He surrenders his life.
But to the awe of his disciples and the world, on the third day his tomb is discovered empty. The Author of Life has conquered death.
The King’s Heart
We would never be able to live rightly. For hundreds of years, God’s people had fallen short of the way he was calling them to live—sin after sin. Darkness would seduce them and they would fall. There would be an opportunity to obey, but they’d choose death instead.
But not Jesus. Satan tempted him; he didn’t fall. He followed all of God’s laws. Jesus loves and forgives—even his executioners. The Father asked him to give his life, and Jesus obeyed.
There is no blemish in Jesus. The religious leaders and Roman authorities had to convict him on trumped-up charges because there was nothing to condemn him for. The God-Man lived the human life that no humans are able to live. Then he gave his life, a blemishless sacrifice to pay for all our sin.
It’s a declaration of love so beautifully powerful that we can hang our eternities on it. In Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, God is saying, “You can’t live this life rightly, so I will live it rightly for you. And I love you so much that I will credit you with my righteousness, the righteousness you couldn’t earn on your own.”
The kingdom of darkness had one powerful hold on us—the curse of sin and death. When we accept the righteousness Jesus offers us, the curse of sin and death is broken in our lives. Darkness is defeated.
Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.