Imagine if there had been TV and Facebook and Twitter at the time of the first Easter.
No doubt images of those events would have been shown all over the world. They would have carried the warning – “contains disturbing images”. Even the sights and the sounds of His “trial” would have been upsetting – the beatings with clubs and fists, the whipping with the lead-tipped scourge, the crown of thorns crushed down upon His head.
After the “trial”, He was hurried away, and CCTV would have captured the procession that snaked through the alleys of Jerusalem till the extremities of the city were reached. There you would have heard the thud of the hammer, the cheering and jeering of the crowd, the curses of the other prisoners – and the gentle words of the man on the middle cross, “Father, forgive them; for they don’t know what they are doing.”
We do not have footage of these events but we have the record of the Bible, written by men who were there and saw it all. Their simple statement is, “When they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23.33). He was Jesus, the Son of God, who had willingly gone to that place and to that death to provide “one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews10.12). What does that mean?
Something happened that day at Calvary which cameras could never have captured. At 12 noon until 3pm, the whole scene became as dark as the darkest night. Hanging on that cross the Son of God was taking upon himself the anger and judgment of the Holy God against human sin so that God could righteously forgive sinners. After the darkness He said, “It is finished”, and He died. The price had been paid in full, forgiveness had been made available.
Two devoted friends removed His body from the cross, wrapped it in linen cloths and buried it in a tomb. The authorities were nervous lest the body be stolen. They were afraid that a resurrection story would be circulated, so they applied a wax seal, defying anyone to interfere; as a further precaution they positioned sentries around the tomb. Three days later that tomb was found to be empty – Jesus was alive! God had mocked their futile scheme, and with divine power had raised Christ from the dead. Many people who saw Him alive testified to the reality of it. He was with them for another 40 days, and then He ascended back to heaven.
This is the Easter story, but the question is – do you believe it? Do you believe that your personal sins deserve God’s eternal judgment in hell? Do you believe that the death of the Lord Jesus on that cross has provided salvation from that judgment for you? Do you believe He is a living Saviour? Have you accepted Him, by faith, as your Lord and Saviour? If not, right now you could bow your head and confess your guilt to Him, repent of your sin, and call upon Him to save you, for “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10.13).