Jesus' Purpose -- Was it ALL in Vain? -- By Lyn Chaffart

"Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26-27)

It's Easter morning.  All the children in the neighborhood are raving about the "Easter Egg Hunt" down in the local park.  They're all going, and what's more, your own kids are bugging to go to.  For weeks now, the stores have been full of pastel colored Easter baskets, chocolate Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, Easter egg die, the works.  Your local park isn't the only one in the city hosting an Easter Egg hunt, in fact, you could probably spend the day going from one Easter Egg hunt to another.  But in all of this, what has happened to Jesus???
 
Sometimes I think that perhaps even greater than the pain He suffered on Calvary is the pain of having this "World's Greatest Event" so thoroughly "covered-up" with pagan traditions that no one even remembers--let alone understands!--the gift--the gift of Grace!  Let's take a few moments to relive some of Jesus' last hours. 
 
Our walk begins in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus is going off alone to pray.  Only He understands the gravity of the situation:  "'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.' Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'"  (Matt 26:38-39)  "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."  (Luke 22:44).  Jesus bears the weight of all the sins ever committed and ever to be committed on His human shoulders:  "and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa. 53:6).  The anguish is more than we can fathom! 
 
But to add to His burden, He now learns that even His Earthly friends will be no comfort to Him, for they are asleep! "When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow."  (Luke 22:45-46).  Then to top it all off, one of His 12 closest friends is the one to betray Him to His enemies:  "Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Rabbi!' and kissed him.  The men seized Jesus and arrested him." (Mark 14:44-47), and another denies Him:  "After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, 'Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.' Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, 'I don't know the man!'" (Matt 26:73-74)

And so stands our Lord and Savior, carrying a burden far heavier than any of us could imagine, abandoned, betrayed, and denied by His closest friends.  But the burden gets heavier yet.  Jesus' trials are fraught with deceit, false witnesses, the works: "The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death." (Matt 26:59-60), and then came Herod who was only interested in getting Jesus to entertain him:  "When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle." (Luke 23:8-9).  

Besides all of the mental, emotional, and Spiritual difficulties, Jesus was also tortured physically.  He was beaten, a crown of thorns was driven into His brow, He was ridiculed, spat upon, and after all of this, a heaven cross was placed upon His shoulders.  Is it any wonder that He was too weak to carry it?  Finally Jesus arrives at Calvary.  Here He is striped of His clothing and forced to lay down on the rough timbers of the cross while nails are pounded into His hands and feet:  Then once the cross was in the ground, our poor Savior hung from those rusty old nails.  But His emotional abuse wasn't yet finished:  "Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, 'You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!'  In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.  'He saved others,' they said, 'but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" (Matt 27:38-44). 

However, the absolute worst torment that Jesus could have possibly endured was still to come.  Throughout all that Jesus has already endured, He always had His Father to give Him strength, to help Him endure, to make Him firm.  But in the end, even this comfort was removed from Jesus: "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'-which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"  (Matt 27:46). 

But why did He do it, my friends?  What was the meaning of all of this?  The answer is "YES"!!!  "But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins." (1 John 3:5)  "and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10-11)  "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18)  ". . . it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes . . ."  (Rom 1:16)  Jesus did it to make amends for all of our sins so that we might stand righteous before God.  Jesus did it for the Salvation of ALL who would believe on His name.   

It's as simple as that, my friends!  Jesus went through the emotional, physical, mental and Spiritual torture of Calvary so that we can stand righteous before God!  But there are those who would make His death in vain.  These fall in one of two groups:  The first group somehow feels as if it's all too simple, too easy, that somehow you need to do something on your own to make yourself right with God.  The second group is comprised of ones who have never accepted Jesus' gift of Salvation.  Each day that goes by without accepting that gift makes what Jesus endured in vain.  If you belong to either of these classes of people, my friends, than you are choosing to make all that Jesus endured at Calvary in vain!     

Don't take the purpose from Jesus' death, my friends!  Accept His free gift of Salvation today!  Stop putting it off.  Stop ignoring the call.  Stop trying to work out the details of your Salvation yourself.  Do not let Jesus death be in vain for even one more day!  Answer the Savior's call today, my friends!  All heaven awaits with rejoicing on their lips for YOU!  May they not wait even one more day!   Click here to give His death purpose in YOUR life! 

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( www.scripturalnuggets.org ), Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org