Three continents meet here. Three faiths claim their beginnings here through father Abraham. Ancient and recent skirmishes scar the landscape. The Bible’s entire story revolves around this land, and especially Jerusalem. History began and will be completed here.
Yet one event in April two thousand years ago overshadows all others. That was the weekend Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose again according to the Scriptures.
Jerusalem will always be a holy city to every person whose faith turns them to God. Here’s why: If Jesus is your Savior, then it was in Jerusalem your life was set apart. Bought back. Begun. Your life begins at the cross.
It’s a paradox, really. History’s darkest day became its brightest. The injustices that pinned Jesus to the tree satisfied, strangely, God’s justice.
We try every way in the world to make the cross glamorous but it can’t be done. It was the ancient electric chair, the hangman’s noose. Nothing about it was beautiful. It was death in its gore. Undeserved. Sacrificial. The most hideous, blatant injustice in history.
Yet nothing pictures God’s love for you more passionately than when Jesus died on that cross. Nothing. And while God the Father gave His love—Jesus, God’s Son, gave His life.
Picture it. The place of the skull is pitch dark though it was only three in the afternoon. Light Himself turned away from His Son as He bore the sins of every person who ever lived. And there Jesus hung, not a soul realizing it was the most epic moment in history.
Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus thought of you at Calvary, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.” In the horror of those hours, Jesus focused on the ultimate joy, of presenting you and everyone else who will believe, to His Father. “I bought them back, Father; here they are. Love them as You love Me.”
Jesus couldn’t bear to think of eternity without you, so He endured it—with joy.
And because He died, you can live forever. His resurrection told us His offer was accepted by God—the salvation message plain and simple. No church needs to be built over it to make it sacred. No special language or merit gives you access to God. God invites you to come to Him on the basis of His Son Jesus’ death on your behalf. That’s all that’s necessary.
Here it is from God’s Word. Read it carefully:
“He personally bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might be dead to sin and be alive to all that is good. It was the suffering that he bore which has healed you.” 1 Peter 2:21-24 (PHILLIPS)
“The preaching of the cross is nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world, but to us who are being saved from that death it is nothing less than the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (PHILLIPS)