He was in His early-30s. In His young life, He fed the hungry and ministered to the sick, the poor, and those who were mentally unstable. Crowds followed Him as they were eager to hear more of His message. Some knew who He was and others wondered. They wanted someone to relieve them from the bondage of a foreign power. He came to deliver them from a different kind of bondage.

Who was this Man? His appearance in history was predicted centuries before He was born. In the Old Testament book of Isaiah it states, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son.” It is revealed in the New Testament book of Luke that the virgin was named Mary and that she would give birth to “that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Why did this Man come? It was foretold that He would come, but why did He come? In the New Testament book of Matthew the angel Gabriel announced the purpose of this “Holy One” who would be called “the Son of God.” He would “save His people from their sins.” The Gospel of John further states that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

This Son of God is the man, Jesus Christ. Jesus began His ministry as a young man who was thought to be about thirty years old. He performed miracles of healing, raised people from the dead, fed thousands with little food on hand, and performed many other miracles so as to confirm that He was indeed the promised Christ. He spent three years confirming His identity and teaching His close followers astounding things.

Towards the end of the three years of ministry He began to teach His followers that He was going to be killed. The Jewish leaders had become increasingly jealous of His following and were very concerned about losing their power and status. They did not recognize Him as the Promised One. Conspiring with one of His close followers these leaders seized Him in the night and brought Him before their tribunal. In His trial, no corroborating testimony could be found to convict Him of any crime. The leaders then point blank ask Him if He were the Christ. Jesus confirmed that it was true. They interpreted that to be blasphemy and wanted Him killed.

Israel at that time was under the domination of Rome and the Jewish leaders did not have the power of capital punishment. Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, for trial. After much questioning and controversy, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, was sentenced to die on a Roman cross, an extreme and cruel form of torture and death. After hours of being mocked and ridiculed Jesus died. His last words on that cross recorded by His beloved apostle John was, “It is finished.”

What was finished? From the earliest of times God had instructed His people that there must be a blood sacrifice for their sin. These sacrifices were done at prescribed times according to the Mosaic Law. However, the sacrifices were temporary and had to be repeated. When Jesus Christ uttered the words, “It is finished,” the last blood sacrifice that would ever be needed had just been accomplished with the shedding of His blood for His people. Who are His people? They are those of any nation or race past or present who would accept His finished work on the Roman cross as Savior from their sin.

Was Jesus Christ, Himself, finished? No way. He was placed in a tomb and on the third day when some of His followers came to visit the tomb, the tomb was empty. An angel appeared and told them as recorded by the New Testament writer Mark, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen!”

In these next few days we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some call it Resurrection Sunday and most call it Easter. Plan to visit a Bible teaching church this Sunday and learn more about why “It is finished” turned into the victory of “He is risen.”

Another View is written on a rotating basis by a member of a group of Midcoast citizens that meet to discuss issues they think are of public interest.

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