The Journey, Pt. 3

Life change happens when we know God. When we know God, His spirit comes into our lives and leads us into freedom, changing those things that hold us back from discovering and fulfilling our purpose. As we discover our purpose, we begin to live our best life, the life that is available to us so that we can bless others and make a difference.

There is an important aspect of our freedom that is found in the power of the Cross of Jesus. First Corinthians 1:18 states that the Cross is the very power of God to those being saved. It is critical we know the power of the Cross and what God did for us by way of the Cross of Jesus.

As we look to the work Jesus did through His execution, let’s go back to Thursday before the crucifixion. Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples. Judas Iscariot was there but left early to complete his betrayal of Jesus having collected thirty pieces of silver in exchange for handing Jesus over to the authorities. Jesus made His way to Gethsemane to pray and gather strength from His Father for what He was about to go through. After being arrested in Gethsemane, Jesus was put through slander and torture through the night. The Jews could not establish a witness against him but finally locked onto Jesus’ own admission that He was the Christ. It was believed by the Jews that the Christ would be the anointed on who has power to break the yoke of bondage. Jesus’ admission to being the Christ was considered blasphemy and they used it to justify His conviction. In Isaiah 53:5, we have a detailed prophetic word written 700 years before Jesus died, describing the work of the Cross. Jesus was pierced, crushed, punished and wounded for us, not only for our salvation but for the lives we are designed and destined to live.

By His stripes we were healed. Jesus was scourged with a cat of nine tails that was designed to tear apart flesh and muscle. The pattern was 39 stripes, 13 to the right shoulder, 13 to the left and 13 down the spine. It is by those stripes that Jesus paid the price for our sickness and disease, so we can find freedom in our bodies. He paid the price for our healing. He was punished for our peace. In an unusual move, the Roman guards took Jesus into a private guard room. There they covered His face and played a cruel game that resulted in Him being severely beaten about the head. When the guards finished, a thorny vine was woven into a crown and pressed into Jesus’ head. Through all of this, He stayed quiet. Isaiah said the punishment He took, brought us peace. Think about where you feel lack of peace. It is in your mind and thoughts where anxiety, depression, fear and trauma take hold. Jesus paid for freedom in your mind. Jesus came so you could have peace and not be worried or troubled. He went through pain in his head so you don't have to have pain in yours. He was pierced for our transgressions and sins. The scourging destroyed back muscles so that the when nailed to a cross, the crucified suffocated from the inability to pull themselves up to get a breath. Jesus went to the Cross to pay for our sins. Not only was our forgiveness purchased but, when we are forgiven, Hebrews 8:12 tells us that God remembers our transgressions no more. In Hebrews 9:14, we learn that He also purifies our conscience. We are forgiven, our sin is forgotten, and He takes the shame and guilt so that we can forget too. He sets us free from guilt and shame and remembering.

Jesus was crushed for us. Jesus breathed His last at the ninth hour on that day of Redemption. The Roman guard used a spear to pierce His side to make sure He was dead. When they pierced Him, the flow of blood and water proved His heart was already ruptured. He died of a broken heart. He was crushed. He went through it for you, to pay for your broken heart. By the Cross, you are healed, your peace was purchased, you are free from guilt and your heart is made whole. Be blessed by this Good Friday on which a great price was paid for your freedom.
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