The Cross and the tomb

Published 8:04 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easter could not be possible without Christmas. The birth of the Christ is Emmanuel “God with us.” The death of the Savior is God providing Himself for our salvation. The first man Adam brought sin into the world by his disobedience and it is Christ who will redeem mankind from sin’s consequences by His sinless life on the cross.

One-third of the content of the four gospels is given to the last week of Jesus’ life. Two of the four gospels writers mention the birth of Christ, His Sermon on the Mount and His ascension, however, all four tell of His death. It is at the cross of Christ we can see the worst of man and the best of God. The death of Christ is fact history records but its purpose most will reject. Christ’s crucifixion is not an accident of humanity but the divine appointment of God. His death is not a martyr dying against His will nor a hero as an example for us to follow. It is by His sinless life and vicarious death the Savior is able to save sinners. His life is perfect without sin from what He does, says or thinks making His death on the behalf of sinful humanity.

The Bible refers to the cross as a tree, alive giving life. It is out of Christ’s death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection He gives life to all who believe. Jesus gives the illustration, as a seed dies to one form it lives to another reproducing itself.

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Psalm 22 gives more detail of the crucifixion than all four gospels combined and was written almost eight hundred years before it was invented. Christ’s death is the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifice. He is the perfect sacrifice for sin taking it away forever whereas animals could only cover man’s sin. In the Old Testament it was the sheep who dies for the shepherd and Easter it is the Shepherd dying for the sheep.

The cross without the open tomb would be a place of weakness, defeat and shame. The resurrection gives us victory over death, forgiveness for our sins and everlasting life with the Lord. It is on the cross Jesus takes our place in hell so He may prepare us a place in His heaven. To some the cross is a symbol of the Christian life but to the believer it is its secret.

Three men died on Good Friday, one lost, one saved and one as a Savior. Jesus’ cross takes care of our sins, where we will spend eternity. He chose the cross to save us from our sins. It is up to us to choose Him as our Savior.

STEVE CONWELL can be reached at