Did Jesus Really Die in the Electric Chair?
Not really – but sort of. The cross really was like the electric chair of 2,000 years ago. The Roman Empire were the rulers of the world, and these Romans would take the worst of their criminals – the ones they believed had committed the most severe crimes – and beat them until their insides were exposed. After this bloody mess, the soldiers would finish the job by nailing the hands and feet of each criminal to a wooden cross. The bodies of these convicts would be raised up high for the world to see, and their crimes were written on parchment to be tacked to the crosses above their heads. This served as a grim warning to all who passed by.
Why Did Jesus Die?
Jesus didn’t die as a martyr, a political figure, or revolutionary as some suppose. Believe it or not, the Bible says that Jesus died as a criminal. Jesus died as a criminal so that you could go to Heaven. How does that work? Well, the Bible says:
“God made you alive with Jesus the Messiah, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)
You and I had completely separated ourselves from God, who is perfectly moral and good in every way. This separation came to us due to our sinful choices. Not only had we broken God’s Law, but our guilt sat there on our records. That guilt was ready and waiting to condemn us on Judgment Day after we died — like an utterly guilty felon awaiting his court date in hopelessness. As the Bible says: “All have sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23) God knew that we had failed Heaven’s legal system. He wanted us to escape the coming judgment, punishment, and eternal separation from God and His Heaven that had earned for ourselves — these fearful consequences we were destined to face on Judgment Day after we die. So He miraculously came to earth as a human to step into the problem we had created for ourselves and deal with our guilt issue once and for all. As we read, the Bible says that Jesus – God come to earth in the flesh – took the list of all the sin-crimes that we were guilty of committing, and said: “I will take the punishment for their sins.” Jesus died for us, essentially nailing that list of our sins to His own cross, and allowing Himself to be punished in our place. He took the punishment we deserved for our sins so that we don’t ever have to be punished. This is why Jesus died as a criminal. He was punished for our crimes. This is how God – the One who Judge’s sin – could show love to us while still upholding justice. He punished crime justly, but He stepped in to willingly take the punishment for the guilty.
So What Should We Do About It?
Someone once asked: “What must I do to be saved?” The Bible answered this question very clearly: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) That’s it. The Bible says that we need only to believe and you will be saved from your sins, saved from Hell. But what exactly must we believe? We must believe that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, and that He resurrected from the dead three days later, proving that He was really who He said He was. If we believe this message and accept what Jesus did for us, God has promised to completely forgive our sins. By this we can be saved from the consequences for our sins — the consequences of eternal separation from God and the hell that comes with this.
What Does Forgiveness of Sin Do For Us?
The Bible says: “Every person is destined to die once, and after that comes Judgment Day.” (Hebrew 9:27) Now imagine how great it would be to get to Judgment Day and stand before God and hear Him say:
“It is true that you have sinned against Me many, many times in your life. And today is the day – Judgment Day – when sinners are judged as guilty for their sins. But you accepted the path to salvation that I gave you. You accepted Jesus as your Savior who died on the cross of a criminal in order to take on the punishment for your sin-guilt. Because your guilt and punishment was already taken on by Jesus, you stand legally guiltless before Me today. Someone else has already paid your penalty for you, and crime does not need to be punished twice. I am so very happy to tell you that I have nothing to judge you for. You are free to enter My Heaven to be with Me forever.”
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