Jerusalem. 9am. Good Friday. Jesus, a humble man hangs on a cross. Dying.
His crime: He claimed to be the son of God.
And that’s good news, is it?
Normally, the execution of an innocent man is a tragedy. But the suffering of Jesus had a unique purpose. Jesus said he came: “to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A ‘ransom’ is the price paid to release a slave. Jesus said he would “give his life” - he would die - to pay the ransom price to set us free.
What do we need to be freed from?
Ask yourself “Do I always do the good I want to do?” If you answer “No,” perhaps you agree we are slaves to something we can’t control. This is called “sin” - being mastered by our selfish desires instead of living with God as our Father.
Imagine you’re a slave being kept by a harsh master. A good master buys your freedom and adopts you into his family, but it’s expensive. It costs his whole life. Jesus “gives his life” instead of ours. He died on the cross to free us from slavery to self-centredness4 and to bring us into God’s family.
Why believe this?
From the third day after he died, lots of people saw Jesus alive again.5 He ate with them, 6 and he accepted worship as God.7 He rose from the dead! So, what do you think? Was his death a tragedy, or a ransom to buy your freedom?