ONCE again the Christian world celebrates Holy Week — a time to commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the week that forms the very center and core of our Christian faith.
The Scriptures say, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is also written, “The wage of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) and”… all our righteousness are just like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Thus, if God’s justice is to be satisfied, nobody can be saved from God’s punishment, if man were to rely solely on him self and on his goodness.
But God, who is just, is also merciful. He found a way to satisfy the requirements of the Law and yet save fallen man from eternal death. He sent his Son, Jesus, true Man and true God, to take upon himself all the punishment that is due us because of our sins, shedding his blood and then dying on the cross. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Jesus took our place in Calvary. He who was sinless became the sacrificial Lamb to carry all our sins. He who was completely well took all our infirmities and diseases. He who was the Son of the Most High God endured all our shame and disgrace. And he who has power and control over everything suffered an excruciating death in the hands of evil men.
God’s gift of reconciliation demands a response. It demands repentance of one’s sins, asking the Father for his forgiveness, and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior — partaking of all the benefits that accompany his sacrificial death. Jesus is the only way; there is no other. As he said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
The beauty of our Christian faith is that Holy Week did not end with Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday. It climaxed with the Easter Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead. By his resurrection, he showed what will happen to all those who die in his grace. They, too, will rise again and reign with him in his kingdom for all eternity.
By Jesus’ second coming or by our physical death, whichever comes first, we will meet God to judge us. May we be prepared to see him face to face and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome to the kingdom I have prepared for you. Because you have faithful in small things, I will put you in charge of bigger things. Come and share my happiness now and forever.”