- Lorie Hedgepeth
“...If I am lifted up I will draw all people unto myself...”
27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28. And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe. 29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32. And there were also two other malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
At the Cross the devil made two tragic mistakes. First of all, he made the mistake of lifting Jesus up on the Cross (Matthew 27:39-42). The soldiers could have killed Jesus when they came to arrest Him… but they didn’t. They could have killed Him at the whipping post… but they didn’t. They could have nailed Him on the Cross and let Him lay there on the ground until He died… but they didn’t. Instead, the soldiers nailed Jesus to the Cross and then raised the Cross up. John 12:32, “If I am lifted up I will draw all people unto myself”. For over two-thousand years, people of every description have been drawn like a magnet to Jesus. We can be assured that even in this sin-crazed culture we live in, people are being drawn to Jesus. Everywhere He is lifted up, people are drawn to Him. In the worst of situations and circumstances Jesus can be lifted up and people will be drawn to this amazing Savior. Jesus can be lifted up in the sanctuary, on social media, on the job, in your business, in the home and on the ball field.
The second mistake the devil made was to pierce Jesus’ side. When Jesus’ side was pierced His blood flowed down the Cross (John 19:31-34). That same blood washes the vilest sinner clean. Romans 5:9 says, we are justified by His blood and Eph. 1:7 says, we have forgiveness through His blood. His blood breaks the shackles of addiction. Life-long alcoholics pour out their alcohol. The dope addict walks away from the crack house. We are talking about redemption, not rehabilitation. There is power… power, wonder-working power in the blood of Jesus. Jesus’ blood will make tumors shrink and cancers leave. Our acceptance of Jesus’ shed blood as the payment for our sin changes everything. Thank God for the blood!
What happened the day Jesus was crucified reminds us that salvation is offered for a limited time. There is such a thing as a final opportunity. Luke 23:39-42 reveals that in their dying breaths, one criminal ridiculed Jesus and the other accepted Him. It’s an unchanging truth… regardless of profession, position or possessions, there will come a point and a time when we will have had our final opportunity to accept Christ. On this Monday before Easter I am compelled to ask you the question of all questions: How is it with you and God? Today, …this very moment you can say, yes to God and ask Him to come into your life. Jesus’ death and resurrection affords every man, woman, boy and girl the opportunity to have a new start. Only in and through Jesus Christ can we get past our past and change our destiny.
As we celebrate Easter 2021, may God help us to reaffirm our faith and trust in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross as the payment for our sin.