This month’s posts have been leading up to this question. After all, since Christ came to save sinners through his atoning death on the cross, we must understand how vile sin is. We also need to understand why only a sinless, eternal being could fulfill the law which God gave to the Israelites.
The “good” in Good Friday is that Jesus went to the cross for whosoever would believe in him. He could have “chickened out” but he went through with his mission. In Matthew 26:53 (KJV) Jesus said to the disciples and those taking him prisoner, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
Since one angel killed one-hundred-and-eighty-five Assyrian warriors, imagine the carnage seventy-two-thousand angels could do to Jerusalem and the Romans.
Instead, Christ fulfilled the scriptures, not only with his death on the cross but by his birth, life, and resurrection on the third day. As Mark 16:19 (KJV) states, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”
And what’s good about Christ being in heaven? Because he ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was given by God to we who believe in Christ. As Peter said to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:33 KJV), “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was given a glimpse into heaven, as Luke recorded in Acts 7:55-56 (KJV), “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.'”
And having our sins forgiven, we are justified in Christ as righteous. As Paul noted in Romans 8:34 (KJV), “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,” who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
So what should be our response to such a great gift which salvation is? Paul wrote in Colossians 3:1 (KJV), “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Because Jesus fulfilled all that the Father gave him to do, he reigns even over death. As he told his disciples in Matthew 28:18 KJV), “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'” That wouldn’t have happened if he disobeyed.
I’ll include more about the awesome benefits of a surrendered life in Christ in my next book, You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Watch this space for updates.