Jesus, however, is not a martyr. His life and His work weren’t cut short. Calvary didn’t happen to Jesus, but He came specifically to die on a Cross. He knew what was going to happen to Him. Check this out…
- Jesus predicted not only His death but His resurrection too (John 10:7-18)
- Jesus knew exactly how He would die, which was not by stoning at the hands of the Jews, but by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans (John 10:22-33; Mark 8:31; Matthew 26:2)
- Jesus knew when He would die—(Matthew 26:45-46)
- Jesus knew why He would die—(Luke 22:37; Isaiah 53:12)
So we can know Jesus is alive by His “It is finished” declaration from the Cross—
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” … When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Actually His “It is finished” wasn’t just a statement, it was a yell that reverberated throughout the countryside. The Greek words Mark uses are megas phōnē, which sounds a lot like our word megaphone. Jesus wanted to make sure everyone heard Him, and then look at the result:
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
The curtain that separated God’s presence from mankind was torn in two. The writer of Hebrews notes, “Our High Priest offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
What do you conclude from all this? C.S. Lewis offered this challenge:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great man or a moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool… or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
Jesus told us that He would die, how He would die, when He would die, why He would die, and that He would be resurrected. If you heard all of these claims before His crucifixion, you might think He was a lunatic or a braggart. But after His It Is Finished! declaration, we have only one logical conclusion: Jesus is exactly who He said He was. It was out of love for you that Jesus laid down His life and picked it up again. Will you put your faith in Him today?
We are working our way through 5-parts of this series: “I can know Jesus is A.L.I.V.E. because of….” We’ve already covered: