By Dave Snyder
Scripture: Matthew 27:45-56, 1 Peter 1:18-19 CSB
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is,“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me ?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.
When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God! ”
Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him were there, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.
Devotion: Jesus covered our sin
After Jesus was arrested in the garden, He was taken through trials before the chief priests, Herod, and Pontius Pilate. Three trials were by the Jewish leaders and three were done by the Romans (John 18:12-14, Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:6-12, and Mark 15:6-15). The trials also featured bloody beatings and mocking from soldiers. The way to the cross was full of evil and darkness.
We call this day, “good,” because on the cross, our sins were exchanged for the goodness of God’s mercy. Jesus came as a rescue mission to save sinners like you and me.
He came, because without the shedding of His blood, there could be no eternal forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). He came to suffer and die so that we can experience redemption and everlasting life. This day broke the heart of the Father. He sent His Son to demonstrate His love to a lost and dying world (Romans 5:8).
This is a day not of celebration, but of great remorse. It was indeed our sin that held Him there. It was our rebellion that caused the death.
Take a few minutes and read the text. Soak in the reality of justice served to the only innocent and sinless man to walk the earth.
Spend today praising the Father for the gift of the Son. Praise the Father for His gift of grace shown on the cross. Praise Him that your sin was exchanged for righteousness.
Jesus indeed paid it all. Your sin was covered. No more debt is owed. This is what makes today … good.
Dave is the pastor at First Baptist Church of Pensacola. He holds an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Southeastern Seminary. Dave has served churches in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.