“For I delivered to you has of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” – 1 Corinthians 15:3

The fact that Jesus was crucified and died on a cross is undeniable.  The death of Jesus the Messiah is the foundation of Christianity, as it was pleasing to God to crush Jesus and exert all of our judgment on Him.  But it is not just His death on the cross that we must examine and appreciate, but another death about which we may have never thought.

The physical aspect of Jesus’ death has been well documented.  He had been up all night the previous night under extreme stress.  He has been beaten with fists and had His beard ripped out.  Jesus had been scourged with a whip that had sharp pieces of rock and metal in the end of it in order to forceable rip the flesh from His back.  Christ had to carry the crossbeam of the cross, be nailed to it through His wrists and feet, and be hung on it.  He experience severe loss of blood, indescribable pain, critical low blood pressure and a dangerously high heart rate.  The physical death is impossible to deny.

The aspect that may be easily overlooked is the aspect of the spiritual death of Jesus.  This is a point that is a great mystery, if one understands death to mean ceasing to exist.  In the Bible, death does not mean cessation of existence, but separation.  For mankind to be spiritually dead is to be separated from God.

When Jesus was on the cross, there came a time when the sky went black, an earthquake roared, and the Father turned His back on the Son as He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46).  During His entire ministry, Jesus always referred to God as “Father.”  Yet, in this one moment, He couldn’t even call God “Father,” but had to call him “God.”  While this may be a troubling idea, don’t neglect the scripture that tells us “He who knew no sin became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  This implies that our sinful nature was absorbed by the Son, thus making Him spiritually separate from the Father.

Let us be sure to thank Jesus for His willingness to die for our sins, both physically and spiritually.



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