Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Welcome, friends; this week, I am talking about the cross. There are not many mornings, I don’t think about salvation and the cross through the day. When I think of the cross, tears fill my eyes. Jesus paid the ultimate price by one of the cruelest governments on Earth at that time. To understand why Romans killed Jesus, we must first understand its culture.
Before Christ to Earth 753 years later, two brothers, Romulus, and Remus, started Rome. In the 8th century (Before Christ), Rome was a small town, however as time passed, it grew until it ruled most of Europe, northern Africa, Great Britain, western Asia, Africa, and islands in the Mediterranean. The rest is history, as they say.
Let’s start with background knowledge leading to Christ’s death and resurrection and a short history of the Roman government. Like America, people elected their government officials, which were called senators. America based its government on Rome as a republic. That said, Rome used governors (just as our states) and had a constitution. Like America, one’s social class dictated their life experiences. Essentially, Rome treated those identifying as believers (Christian) inhumanly. During the time of Christ, Rome stationed a government in Jerusalem as they captured it in 63 BCE. During that time, King Herod ruled Jerusalem for 30 years. After Jesus was born, God warned Mary and Joseph to take Jesus to Egypt to keep Herod from hunting them down and killing him. (Matthew 2). At some point, he killed all children two and under. Herod thought there could not be a king more excellent than he.
In Matthew Chapter 3, John, his cousin, begins preaching the kingdom of Heaven is coming. (He meant Jesus). Jesus begins his ministry (Chapters 3 and following.) Herod kills John the Baptist because John calls him out on his sin (adultery), Matthew 14:1-12). Chapters 27 and 28 show religious leaders conspiring to kill Jesus. Chapter 26, Jesus knew he would die, and Judas would betray (give him up) him for money (verse 21-47). In chapter 27, they kill him.
In Chapter 4, Jesus began choosing his disciples. Simon, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Judas, Philip, Thomas, Mark, Luke (the doctor), Judas (betrayed Jesus), and Bartholomew. Jesus heals, preaches the gospel, and does many other miracles, which are too many to name. By chapter 14, Herod hears of Jesus. Herod gets mad at John because he calls him on his sin of adultery. At some point, he beheads John. In addition to Herod hating Jesus, two sects of religious members- the Sadducees and Pharisees (Matt 16), also hated Jesus. He now had many enemies.
Jesus was a wanted man. Judas saw an opportunity to gain money. Therefore, he gave Jesus up to Herod. However, in the end, after receiving money for his betrayal, Judas hung himself, dying a gruesome death. The Roman Army was cruel. Jesus’ death was not a pretty sight. Romans beat a person with what is called the cat of nine tails. It is a whip with glass or metal tips that tears skin with each whipping action. Beatings could last hours. Could you imagine such a beating? In addition to being beaten, Jesus was tired, thirsty, and hungry. Afterward, they laid him on the cross and drove spikes into both hands and his feet. Soldiers gave him some medication however it was not strong enough to dull his pain. Jesus hung on the cross until he died. His friends buried him in a tomb. That said, Jesus took every punishment for the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future (us). He did not have to take this beating. Nor did he have to lay in a tomb. However, Jesus chose to take our punishment and defeat death. On the third day, he rose.
Just imagine, he died for every sin we will commit, past, present, and future: lying, stealing, killing, lust, adultery, sleeping around, not honoring parents, wanting what others have, calling God’s name just to call it, using his name in curse words, and many other horrific acts not listed.
My friends, no one is perfect. We all mess up and all are wicked. We cannot throw stones at anyone. However, when we accept him as savior, and his actions on the cross; he no longer sees us the way we used to be, but washed in his blood he shed on the cross for our sins (which are many). He died on the cross that we may have life through his sacrifice. Otherwise, everyone is doomed to everlasting torment. No one gets into Heaven through any other door. Believing is the only way we get there. Belief can be as small as a mustard seed. Do you want to take the chance of eternity without Christ?
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Please watch this video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BfZ3KKKg9c