Scenes from the movie "Passion of the Christ" that has drawn vast audiences wherever it was shown in cinemas all over the world.

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” (Jn. 12:32-33)  

This statement of the Lord Jesus Christ is a prophecy that all the people in the world would be drawn to Him by His death on the Cross. This prophecy has been fulfilled over and over again. In the year 2000 AD TIME magazine featured the Man of the Millennium. The news magazine declared of all people who have ever lived, Jesus Christ is the most influential. He is the Man of this millennium and of all millennia. TIME magazine listed the most powerful people of all time then concluded: "It would require much exotic calculation, however, to deny that the single most powerful figure, not merely in these two millenniums, but in all human history, has been Jesus of Nazareth. Not only is the prevalent system of denoting the years based on the date of his birth, but a serious argument can be made that no one else's life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus."

Twenty centuries have come and gone and today the risen Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the whole human race. On our calendars His birth divides history into two eras.  The seventh day of every week is set aside to honor Him as the Creator and LORD of the Sabbath.  And the world’s three most important holidays celebrate His birth, death and resurrection. On church steeples around the world, His cross has become the symbol of victory over sin and death.

This one Man’s life has furnished the theme for songs, books, poems, paintings, movies and web sites on the Internat more than any other person or event in history. Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions have been founded in honor of this One who gave His life for the whole human race.

All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the governments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned have not changed the course of history as much as this Man of all Time.

 

God’s Promise of a Savior

The main reason why people are drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ is because He is the only Person in the world who can save them from sin, give eternal life and also take them to Heaven.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed and sinned against God they not only died spiritually but their original sin also brought death to mankind for posterity (Rom. 5:12-14). But all was not lost. As God was revealing the consequences of their sin He also gave a glorious promise. God promised He would send a Redeemer (Messiah), who would destroy Satan and restore them to a right relationship with Him (Gen 3:15). In the meantime God covered their nakedness with coats of skins that points to the atonement by the death and shedding of blood through an animal sacrifice. However, a permanent atonement for sin requires the perfect sacrifice and shedding of blood by a sinless Person. Where can we find such a Person?

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” (Psm. 53:2-3)

“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” (Isa. 59:16) 

Since there is no human being on earth who is perfect and sinless the One True God manifested Himself in the flesh to become the supreme and ultimate sacrifice. By taking the form of a Man our God was able to die in man’s place and also to shed His blood to remit the sins of mankind.

Most religions teach people how to live a good life, but they do not solve the problems of sin and death.  Christianity is not just a religion to follow a religious teacher or change one’s lifestyle; more importantly it is God’s way of dealing with sin, conquer death and have eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, He is also the One True God Himself.  He is the one and only Savior of mankind.  God revealed that Mary would conceive a Child of the Holy Spirit.  “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus (Yahshua), for He will save His people from their sins.”  (Mt. 1:20-21).  When John the baptist “saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)  The Lord Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world by His death on the cross.  It does not mean that sin no longer exists in the world after Jesus came, but it just means that any person who believes and be baptized into Him can have his or her sins removed.  Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”  (Jn. 12:32-33) 

Crucifixion  is  the  Cruelest  Punishment 

There is no doubt crucifixion is one of the cruelest and most humiliating forms of punishment in the ancient world.  The Jewish historian Josephus, in “The Jewish War” 66-70 AD, described it as “the most wretched of deaths.”  He also argued that suicide is preferable to the cruel fate of being put to death on the cross.  In the Roman Empire, historians say, crucifixion was applied to the lower classes, mainly slaves and foreigners.  It also was used in response to actions that were seen as threatening to the empire, such as political agitation, piracy and slave revolts.  Scourging, or whipping, was not necessarily a part of crucifixion, but it seems that it often was. The severity of the scourging played a part in determining how long it would take someone to die after being crucified.  After the scourging, the victim would carry the cross to the place of crucifixion which, in the case of the Lord Jesus Christ, “to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.” (Jn. 19:1; 17-18) .

Jesus  Christ  bore  the  Sins  of  Mankind 

Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”  “Lifted up from the earth” refers to the crucifixion which is crucial in God’s dealing with sin.  On the cross Jesus became sin for us.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)  This means the Lord Jesus ChristHimself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24)  The prophet Isaiah wrote: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;  And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:5-6)  It is because Jesus Christ was bearing the sins of mankind on His own body while He was crucified that God forsook Him.  Jesus cried out what the Psalmist had prophesied:  “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?” (Psm. 22:1; Mk. 15:34)  Jesus was bearing our sins on His own body and that is why God separated from Him and did not hear his cry. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isa. 59:2) 

The  Blood  of  Jesus  Christ

God’s way of remitting sin is through the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22).  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Lev. 17:11)  Why is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ so efficacious?  It is because His blood is pure and untainted with sin like all other human beings who are conceived and born in sin (Psm. 51:5; 58:3).  Jesus is the only Person who is conceived of the Holy Spirit therefore He is called the “Son of God(Mt. 1:20-21; Lk. 1:34-35).  Jesus has no human father who inherits the original sin from Adam (Rom. 5:12-14).  The blood of Jesus Christ is called “God’s own blood” (Acts 20:28).  Only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can remit sin (Heb. 9:14). 

There are three ways in which the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is applied to the lives of the Christian.

1.  At the Lord’s Supper Jesus instituted Holy Communion. He first blessed the unleavened bread and when He blessed the cup of grape juice He said, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:26-29)   When we partake of the Holy Communion we spiritually eat the Lord’s flesh and drink His blood (1 Cor. 10:16-17; Jn. 6:48-56).

2.  When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Lk. 22:44)  Isaiah 53:2-3 informs us the Messiah "has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him."  Isaiah also prophesied that the Christ would be badly beaten more than any man.  "Just as many were astonished  at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;" (Isa. 52:14)  Jesus underwent the Jewish and Roman trials, was flogged, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion.  The scourging produced deep stripe-like lacerations on Jesus' back.  "The plowers plowed on My back; they made their furrows long." (Psm. 129:3) 

After Jesus had died “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jn. 19:34)  By this miracle God has combined two important events in the life of Jesus Christ.  The blood represents His crucifixion and the water represents His baptism.  “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3-4)    Just as Jesus Christ came by water and blood so is the Christian who is baptized “not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 Jn. 5:6)

3.  “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:7)  Walking in the light means Christians must live a life of holiness.  Having fellowship with one another means to love and communicate with other Christians.. 

The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."   The moment when Jesus died on the cross “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.  Now when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:51-54)  On the Day of Pentecost “there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven” heard the gospel message of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:5, 22-36).  They were “cut to the heart”; “then those who gladly received his words were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Acts 2:37-41).  

What  every  Person  must  decide  about  the  Personal  Life  

A person who does not believe Jesus is God manifested in the flesh will die in his or her sins (Jn. 8:24)  “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Heb. 9:27-28)  Jesus came two thousand years ago to save mankind from sin.  He will come again, but for a different purpose.  This time He returns to judge the sins of mankind.  At the Great White Throne Judgment every person will be judged according to his or her works.  “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” which is the second death. (Rev. 20:11-15)  This is the eternal separation from God.  When Jesus was crucified for our sins He was forsaken and separated from God.  He took the place of believers so that they do not have to experience the second death.   This is why the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is so important for all Christians. Jesus said,  “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” 

If you are not already a believer you should seriously consider where you will be after your death.  God loves you and wants you to be saved, so repent of your sins, believe Jesus Christ is the One True God and accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. 

If you are already a Christian and are not living a holy life according to God’s will, you must repent of your sins and turn your life around.  “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:15-16)  “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14)   Do you know that every time you commit a sin you are crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ once again?

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:6)

No matter how bad you may feel or how low your spiritual condition, you must never reject the Lord Jesus Christ otherwise your salvation will be in jeopardy.  “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mt. 24:13)   The Lord Jesus Christ said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3: 19-22)

Every person must be born again in order to see and enter the Kingdom of God. (Jn. 3:3-8) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17) This message of the new nature is a message of supreme hope; the Spirit of God can accomplish a life-changing transformation for all who will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him.

 May  God  bless  you

This Article is a presentation of Paul Wong

and posted to the ARK Forum on April 5, 2004

It is published on this Website on September 3, 2009

For comments please write first to: arkpw@sbcglobal.net

Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.

 

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