Out of Darkness

by Apr 11, 2020Devotional, Easter, Echoes of Easter

Read Isaiah 53:8-9

 

Plastered in mud from head to toe, I crawled on my hands and knees through the last section of the cave called the Pancake. Eventually, I lowered myself on my stomach and army-crawled the rest of the way out. Walking out of the cave, I welcomed the fresh air and warm sunshine. 

Two years ago I worked for a non-profit organization that hosts youth groups from all over the nation and takes them on week-long mission trips, including one day where the group participates in an outdoor activity. Going caving was part of my staff training and one day we traveled back and forth through a cave trying to memorize the route. By the time we finished we had spent close to six hours in that cave. That’s six hours in darkness. 

Jesus spent more than six hours in the dark. He spent three days buried in a tomb. But his burial was not reverent or sacred. He was not given a beautifully solemn ceremony where his life on earth was honored. Rather Jesus endured a painful crucifixion, the worst kind of death imaginable that was especially reserved for criminals (Luke 23:32-33). The death and burial of Jesus were riddled with condemnation and shame. Our condemnation. Our shame. It should have been us. The death he died is the death that we deserve. What should have been our fate was borne by the Son of God, (Romans 5:6-8). Jesus willingly became labeled as the worst of the worst so that we could experience the best of the best. He took our place in light of eternity and forever changed our destiny. 

How amazing is that? Think about it for a minute. We were the criminals. We were the sinners. That crucifixion should have been ours. That condemnation and ridicule was ours. Yet, “they made his grave with the wicked,” (Isaiah 53:9a) so that we might live. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” He suffered so we wouldn’t have to. 

This is the story of grace. Whenever we feel ashamed of things we’ve done, or feel like we deserve to be punished, we can remember Jesus’ sacrifice and the endless love that he has for us. The work of the cross is final. It is finished. We can now step into that glorious light, (1 Peter 2:9).

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