The violent death of any young person is always looked on as a tragedy. We hear of them every week – an accident; a horrific disease, or even murder.
One such death occurred around two thousand years ago. So what? It’s happened thousands of times since. Why concentrate on one death such a long time ago? Just one of the many thousands of people that the Romans crucified in the days of Empire.
Over the next few days we will try to explain why.
The man Jesus, also known as Christ, was born in Bethlehem , Judea, and spent most of his life in another Jewish town called Nazareth. After a brief period of preaching and performing miracles around Judea and Galilee He was delivered to the Romans by the Jews and brutally crucified.
Was it because the Jewish religious leaders hated Him? That was certainly true.
Was it because the Roman government feared that He would lead an anti-Roman rebellion? That also was true but it was an unfounded fear.
However these were only human reasons. Behind it all was a much deeper and profound reason - God had planned even before He created the universe.
Consider the following words spoken by Peter and recorded in the Bible:
“Men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man ATTESTED BY GOD to you by miracles, wonders and signs WHICH GOD DID through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know Him, being DELIVERED BY THE DETERMINED COUCIL AND PURPOSE OF GOD, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death: whom GOD RAISED UP, having loosed from the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” Acts 2 v 20-24
This was no ordinary man – He is the Son of God.
This was no ordinary crucifixion – He had done nothing worthy of death. He died on behalf of others.
This was no ordinary death – on the third day God raised Him from the dead.
Jesus is alive!