THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AT GOLGOTHA
By Samuel Idoko Abah
When I talk of the accomplishment of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Golgotha, I am, through the power of the Holy Spirit, trying to unfold the great achievements of Jesus Christ for the people of the world by His death and triumphant resurrection from death after three days. This paper enumerates the account of liberation humanity got through Christ’s death and resurrection; the victory Christ won over Satan, sin and death for us; and most importantly, the salvation package Christ delivered to us through His blood that was shed on the cross.
God Almighty, our Father in heaven, out of His profound love for humanity, gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross, so that anyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn it but to be its savior (John 3:16). In Isaiah 53:10, the Scripture says that it was the will of God for Jesus Christ to suffer for the entire world and His death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. Verse 11 says that “After a life of suffering, He will again have joy; He will know that He did not suffer in vain.” “My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for His sake I will forgive them”. Verse 12 says, “And so I will give Him a place of honour, a place among the great and powerful”. Jesus Christ has the power to resist death but He willingly submitted to the will of His Father in heaven to die, so that through His death, the forgiveness of sins of men can be achieved. Therefore, Jesus Christ gave His life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.
Prior to His death, He suffered a lot in the hands of sinners. He was treated harshly: slapped, spit, mocked, humiliated, but He endured it humbly; He never said a word. He did not revenge. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared. He never said a word. Vinegar was offered to Him to drink when He was thirsty on the cross. According to John 19: 28-30, after Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, “It is accomplished” and bowing His head He gave up His spirit.
To What Extent the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Accomplished for the People of this World?
There is no limit to what Jesus Christ accomplished for us at Golgotha.
His death and resurrection destroyed the dominion of Satan over man. How? According to Matthew 27:50-53, “Jesus, again gave a loud cry and breathed His last. Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split apart, the graves broke open, and many of God’s people who had died were raised to life. They left the graves, and after Jesus rose from death, they went into the Holy City, where many people saw them.” This means that His death and resurrection destroyed the power of death. He triumphed over death and Satan. Death and Satan could not hold Him captive. Therefore, in Christ Jesus, believers have complete freedom and victory over principalities and powers, victory over death (eternal death), victory over witches and wizards, victory over territorial demons, victory over occult grand-master, victory over sins that easily entangle us as a young man, young woman, civil servant, military officer, business man and woman, student, lecturer, etc.
Revelation 12:11 tells us that “Our brothers and sisters won the victory over him (the Devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the Truth, which they proclaimed.” Some people said that Christians have power. To me, it is an under-statement to say that Christians have just power. A cursory look at what Jesus Christ accomplished for us at the cross proved that Christians have unlimited power in Christ. A confirmation of this claim can be seen in Matthew 16:18-19; Mark 16:17-18 and James 5:16-18. Furthermore, 1 John 4:4 says that “But you belong to God, my children, and have defeated the false prophets, because the Spirit who is in you is more powerful than the spirit in those who belong to the world”.
Fellow Christians, understand something here please; that all the above quoted authorities in Christ can only be effective for those who are living holy and righteous life. In James 5:16, Scripture says that a prayer of a righteous person has a powerful effect. Ephesians 6: 14 tells us that righteousness is a breast plate which shield a Christian. It is only when you are living holy and righteous life in Christ that you can activate the power of God in you. You may pray from morning till night, fast for three days or give the highest gift to the Church but without recourse to holiness and righteousness of Christ Jesus; you will still not possess the power I am talking about. You will only succeed to be a dormant or nominal Christian without fruit bearing. Every Christian is a potential carrier of God’s power, but it is when you make yourself available to God that He will use you for good purpose.
His death brings perfect reconciliation between man and God. Before, humanity was far apart from God. We were enemies of God because of our persistent sin, until this barrier was broken by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. So, then, we are no longer enemies of God but we become friends of God through the blood of Jesus Christ that atones for our sins. Not only do we become friends of God but Jesus Christ also has given us the tasks of making other people friends of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 17-19.
Jesus’ journey to Golgotha and His subsequent death destroys the power of Satan over man. 1 John 3:8 tells us that the Devil sin from the very beginning and the reason why the Son of God was made manifest to destroy the works of Satan. Christians could now triumph over every sin that entangles. It is my prayer that every works of Satan in the life of the Christians and non-Christians will be surmounted in the name of Jesus Christ.
In Christ Jesus, we are completely liberated from the power of Satan and we have been empowered to bind and to cast Demons and all agents of unrighteousness. Not only do the Christians given the power to do this, but they are also given the power to forgive people’s sin especially Priests and Pastors (who dedicate themselves to the work of Christ) (John 20:23).
The blood of Jesus Christ shields us from visible and invisible spirit of this world. It fights for us even when we are helpless. Proverbs 18.10 tells us that, “The Lord is like a strong tower, where the righteous can go and be safe.” Before, Christians use to be afraid. Afraid of the night, afraid of insecurity; but today, Christians are as bold as lion because they know that they can contend with any forces of evil victoriously in the name of Jesus Christ.
Again, it is significant to say that the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ from death is the basis for Christians’ faith. If Jesus would not have risen from death, the Faith of Christians would have been futile. But thank God who raised our Lord Jesus Christ back to life as a sign that those who died in Christ will rise to a better life in future. We are told in Romans 8:1 that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. As you are reading this paper, if you pledge your submissive heart to Jesus Christ today, taking into cognizance of the suffering He endured for you at Golgotha and His death, there is no condemnation for you.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ granted everyone access to God Almighty. This means that you can freely talk to God yourself any time without booking appointment with God and He hears you unless you are living in sin. We can confidently approach God’s throne of mercy and get His divine approval and solution for our problems because He cares and loves us. What Christ achieved for us here is that, we need no intermediary again before we can talk to God. Jesus Christ is our only perfect intermediary between us and God. This does not mean that you should not ask for someone to intercede for you in prayer.
Scripture tells us in Romans 6: 4-5 that by our baptism, we were buried with Christ and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life. Thus, everyone should desire baptism. Have you received baptism? It is very necessary for you to be baptized. By baptism, we died to sin and rise to new life in Christ Jesus. Baptism can also mean an initiation into the Christian family, i.e. the family of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in other words known as Trinity.
What suppose to be our responses in respect to Jesus’ suffering and death for us at Golgotha?
This point can best be understood if a simple analogy is used as follows: There was a case of a man called “Culprit”, who committed civil offence. Just as he was about to be executed, there came a Good Samaritan, out of his love for this Culprit, decided that the death sentence of the Culprit be transferred to him. In the final analysis, the Good Samaritan died in place of the Culprit (the offender). Interestingly, after the death of the Good Samaritan, the Culprit repented and pledged to be good to everyone and be loyal to the constituted authority of his country because someone who loved him had taken away his punishment of death.
Dear reader, the above story exemplified what Jesus Christ did for us by His death on the cross. Sincerely, our responses/reactions to Jesus’ death for us should be more than that of the Culprit (the offender). To perfectly reciprocate the gesture done to us by Christ, let us give our whole life to Him in worship and in service. God does not require much from us. What He requires from us is to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God (Micah 6:6-8) so that we may continuously dwell in His love forever.
Your acceptance of Jesus Christ means that He becomes the centre point in your life; you no longer live as you want, but you live to please God in your daily work or activities. 2 Corinthians 5: 17 tells us that now that you are in Christ, old things have passed away (impurity), and behold, all things have become new (purity in Christ Jesus).
If we value what Christ accomplished for us at Golgotha, then, we must live in union with Him. Colossians 2:6 says that “Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with Him.” The question is how do we live in union with Jesus? 1 John 3:24 tells us that to live in union with God means to obey God’s command. We must be careful to obey God’s command to the full, like Job did (Job 1:1) and Job become a point of reference to God for any one who may think that God’s children can not live complete obedience life to God.
Romans 6:19-23 and Colossians 3:5-5 express that at one time you surrendered yourself as slave to impurity and all kind of wickedness for wicked purposes. But now that you have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ, surrender yourself as slave of righteousness for holy purposes.
To prove our submissive heart to Christ, we must study the Scriptures every day, pray every day, sing praises to our God and be disposed to the Holy Spirit for effectiveness in Christ. We must avoid all kind of sins no matter the pleasure in the sin and no matter the pressure from any one to commit sin. Elder Job was an example for us (Job 2: 9-10; 27: 1-6). Again, Joseph a very handsome man, when he was serving in Potiphar’s palace, Potiphar’s wife desired him to have sex with her but Joseph refused. This woman mounted pressure on Joseph several time to do it but he refused and ran out of her. God is looking for a man and woman who can resist sin like Joseph in our present world of lewdness.
Furthermore, we must follow the step of Jesus Christ, if we really appreciate what Jesus accomplished for us at Golgotha (1 Peter 2: 18-21). In John 13: 12-15, 34-35, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet as a sign of His unconditional love for His disciples. Similarly, we must love one another as Christ showed us examples. 1 John 3:16-18 says that “This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for our brothers and sisters…”
We learnt from the passion of Jesus Christ that Jesus did not slap back, insult or exchange bad words with anyone during His sad moment, but He forgave them all. In the same way, we should forgive anyone who does us wrong, no matter the pain, humiliation or embarrassment the person caused us. The Gospel truth here is that if you cannot forgive your neighbor just as Christ forgave your sin, you will not be forgiven too by God. Forgiveness is a two-way-traffic. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven too, vise-versa.
Christians are privileged to have Jesus as their Lord and King. O’level Commerce taught me in secondary school that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the Bankers’ Bank, with which all other Banks depended upon for protection and survival. In the same way, Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords whom all nations of the world take refuge in, for protection and survival. Ideally, all the nations of the earth are supposed to take refuge in Jesus Christ for protection and survival economically, politically and socially, but because some of them have relegated Jesus Christ (God) to the background, consequently disasters become prevalent among these nations. This point is corroborated by what the Scripture says in Proverbs 14: 34 that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a set backs to any person or nation (especially the nation that forget God). Any nation or person that refuses to extol the virtues of Jesus Christ in our world of uncertainty today, that nation or person stands to face disasters from time to time, culminating in total destruction.
Jesus’ Reward for Dying on the Cross
Reward is what God promise everyone who lives in complete obedience to Him. Scriptures recorded in Isaiah 53:11-12, a number of rewards accorded Jesus Christ for His death for all people, namely, that “After a life of suffering, He will again have joy; He will know that He did not suffer in vain.” “My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for His sake I will forgive them”. Verse 12 says, “And so I will give Him a place of honour, a place among the great and powerful. We see the confirmation of this in the following Scriptures. First, Philippians 2:6-11, it expresses that Jesus Christ who always had the nature of God, but He did not consider His equality with God. Instead, He humbles Himself and walked the path of obedience all the way to death on the cross. “For this reason God raised Him to the highest place above and gave Him the name that is greater than any other name and so, in honour of the name of Jesus Christ, all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. By this authority, a child of 10 years can command Satan and he will obey. With this unlimited authority of Jesus Christ, you too can make a decree and it will be established.
When Jesus Christ was raised to life, He told His disciples that “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth…” (Matthew 28:18), also in Mark 16:19, it says that “After the Lord Jesus had talked with His disciples; He was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God. Dear reader, I am confident to say that we have eternal King – our Lord Jesus Christ whom God has extremely rewarded to sit at God’s right hand. In the history of the world, no king or president has ever been promoted to such an exalted position as Jesus Christ.
Earthly and Heavenly rewards for Christians who value the death of Jesus Christ and live submissively to Jesus’ teachings
In the Book of Revelation 21:7, Jesus Christ emphatically said, “Those who win the victory will receive this from me: I will be their God and they will be my children”. This implies that Christians who live faithfully to the end in this life will be given a prize of eternal life. In order words, Christians who worship God diligently will receive reward at the end of time. It is worth noting that some Christians receive their reward from the earth. Mark 16:17 says that “Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: They will drive out demons in my name…”. Psalms 1: 1-6 corroborates this point of earthly reward that “the righteous succeed in everything they do; they are guided and protected by the Lord, but the evil are on the way to their doom.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
Jesus Christ is the only perfect and acceptable sacrificial Lamb that takes away human sins. His death on the cross brought redemption for humanity and reconciliation with God is obtained. Just as Moses set up a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who had been bitten by snake would look at the bronze snake and be healed. In the same way, Jesus Christ who is greater than the bronze snake is put on the cross for everyone who is sick, sinful, unhappy, backward and hopeless situation in life will have breakthrough.
As we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, we are reminded that Christ has taken away our sins. We are reminded to die to sin – a complete separation from sin and anything that entices us to sin. We are also reminded to:
– Have sober reflection in our lives whether our present life style is pleasing to God or is detestable to Him.
– Acknowledge what Jesus Christ accomplished for us at Golgotha.
– Take a stock of our spiritual lives, whether we are making progress in our service to God and humanity or not.
– Make a firm decision to receive Christ. Christ died for you so that you may live. Make your decision today to repent from your sins and accept Jesus into your life. Jesus said in John 1:12, that as many that receive Him and believed in Him, so He gave them the power or right to become God’s children. Your acceptance of Jesus Christ today gives you the full right to become a child of God (not by birth). Becoming a child of God today promises you ever-lasting life in the Kingdom of God, where you will be free from hunger, sicknesses, armed rubbery, assassination, marginalization, terrorists activities, epidemic, etc.
– Exercise self-renewal to be more fruitful in the vineyard of God as well as in your family.
As we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Sunday (Easter Sunday), we are reminded to rise to a new life in Christ Jesus, to live a life of purity, a life devoid of sin. We are reminded to live a life of commitment to Christ through daily prayer and studying of the word of God and a practice of self mortification. By Christ’s triumphant resurrection from the Death, believers now have total control (having dominion over Satan and all kind of sins).
According to Rev. Father Bitrus Lange, in his Easter homily delivered on 8th April, 2012 at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Rafin Zurfi, taught the Christian faithful (parishioners) that Jesus Christ prepared for His death. His death did not take him unaware. He new that He will die to fulfil the mandate of His Father in heaven. So, Jesus prepared adequately for it. Likewise, we should be prepared for our own death too since we know that death is inevitable. It beats my imagination to see some people who have reached the ages of 60 and above, yet they are still far from God. It never occurs to them that one day they will die. They continue to live without being anchored in Christ. A life without Christ is crisis. (This does not mean that children or young people are exempted from this warning). It is obligatory for parent to teach their children the ways of God so that they become God’s children whether alive or dead. Therefore, children should also prepare for death.
Today, how prepared are you to die. Sometimes, we live our lives as if there is no God or there is no life after death. The truth is that when you die, your soul lives on forever, either in heaven or in hell fire. This is the reason why you should make your decision to accept Christ today. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus but any person that refuses to accept Jesus Christ is condemned already. You may not live much longer, should you procrastinate. You may be a good man or woman in your society, club, town or state but without having Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your good deed can not earn you everlasting life. Righteousness that is not based on Christ is futile. But only your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal savior – that Jesus died for you and after three days, He was raised to life by the power of God Almighty. And your choice of living the righteousness and holiness of Christ (not your own righteousness) that guaranteed you everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.
A time came that King Hezekiah fell ill and almost died. God sent Prophet Isaiah to inform him that he should put his house in order because he will not recover from his illness. He should get ready to die. Dear reader, we are living in an age of uncertainty. Looking at the present communal, state, national and global crises around us, it appears that we will be consumed today or tomorrow. If this is true, why do you wait any longer to give your life to Jesus Christ? The present situations in the world should teach us a lesson. Give your life to Jesus Christ and you have peace of mind whether alive or death.
Like Hezekiah, God is speaking to us today to put our houses in order because we may not live much longer on earth. We are closer to the place we are going than the place we started. The standing order of God to put our houses in order implies that we should repent from our sins, forgive everyone and make peace with Him now before we die. Hebrews 12:14 tells us that “Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, without which no man will see the Lord.”
Conclusively, Apostle Paul encouraged us in Romans 12: 1 saying, “my brothers, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, there is no better way we can appreciate or reciprocate what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross than to simply offer ourselves to Him in worship and walk in His step (1 Peter 2: 21-22). Let the Word of God be your guiding principle from today in all you do. Save money and buy a complete Bible for yourself; study it daily to know the purpose of God in your life. Pray well like prayer warrior each day; meditate on the word of God when you are less busy in your office, class room, plane, ship, car, etc. Search yourself very well each day for any sin you have committed and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness of your sin and that of your children (if you have) each day before going to bed to sleep.
May the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ keep us holy and blameless before God till the end of our time. Amen. Please write out all the quotations in this paper and read them in your leisure from time to time for more comprehension.