He Didn’t Have to Do It
The story has been told time and time again. It would take little effort to examine the incarnation of Christ from an academic viewpoint. However, academia is not the reason for the incarnation. In fact, the only reason for Christ laying aside some of His attributes was because love was the impetus for the sacrifice. Love looked through the annals of time and realized that without the redemptive work of an incarnate Christ, man would be forever dammed.
Pardon my imagination. I am sure that a conversation took place in Heaven. The Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit engaged in a discussion centered on finalizing the plan of salvation. The Old Testament paved the way with multiple foreshadows of how the plan of salvation would play out. The time was ripe and the season ready for the Son of man to humbly present himself. And, so the Son of God took on the flesh of man and walked the earth. For the last three of His thirty-three years Christ worked tirelessly to restore the broken relationship between God and man. He sought to put to rest the consequences of sin. This is a work He didn’t have to do yet He saw reason for salvation.
At this juncture to rehearse the story Good Friday might serve to bore some while encourage others. To talk about the mock trials and the thorn of crowns would cause some to weep and others to repent. The fact of the Via Dolorosa might consider some to look at their own sorrows, or even consider the fact the Christ did not have to suffer unjust lashings. He did not have to suffer the lies and embarrassments of a false declaration of guilt. No, Jesus did not have to suffer at the hands of the man over whom He held ultimate authority. Still, nothing was to stop the King of kings from fulfilling the will of the Father.
No, Emanuel did not have to suffer the cross. He could have avoided the nails. The thirst He suffered showed that the God-man suffered as a man; yet, His determination to redeem man was born from the God He was. This Jesus, the One betrayed with a kiss, could have called ten thousand angels to come to His defense – but He stayed on the cross. His blood dripped from His torn and broken body. He refused to come down. The mission was not accomplished so He could not come down. He stayed on the cross because He sought to please His Father as He worked to heal man. The Saviour after much anguish, after considerable pain, and untold humiliation chose to bow his head and die. He died so that man would not have to die in sin. The death of the Anointed One meant that there would no longer be a separation between God and man as the Blood of the Saviour was now available to wash away the sin of the world.
The story, however, does not end at the cross. No, the story is just to begin and cannot be contained in the words of this essay. The torn veil says much. The darkened sky and earthquake was more than one soldier could take. Yea, the centurion indicated that this One on the cross must have been the Son of God. And, then there were those dead lovers of God that were freed from the grave. The confrontation of our Lord and Saviour with the enemy would have made headlines today. Death was not able to keep Him. The grave could not hold Him. The keys to death, Hell, and the grave were snatched from the hand of Satan. The victory had been won!
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Christ did get up from the grave. He held the victory then and holds it now. Now He sits on the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me all because He wanted to restore that broken relationship. All He asks is that we follow His perfect example.
If Christ has not risen in your heart now is the time. Do not put it off until tomorrow as tomorrow may be too late. Don’t, I beg you, let it be said to late; let the Lord in. Now is the time of salvation. Now is the time to let Christ rise in you!