Yes. He died, succumbing to all his wounds. It didn’t take long. By three in the afternoon, he was gone…with a distinct, loud cry. Some people didn’t understand what he had spoken at the end. Sounds of thunder and a darkness were noticed across the countryside. The earth shook.
They didn’t even have time to break his legs, as was the usual custom, to hasten death. Into a rock tomb his body was hurried before the sun could set, wrapped quickly, unwashed, grimy, still seeping blood, unprepared for proper burial rest. A huge rock was quickly rolled across the tomb’s doorway and guards were put in place. This was a strange business and the authorities did not want any trouble cropping up.
But real trouble was on the way. In the darkness, before long, something happened to this man. He had been dead. A thorough punishment, a violent whipping and brutal piercing had accomplished the killing. Did the Roman soldiers realize that he was beaten and whipped for their sakes! That he had nailed down sin? Did the Jewish authorities, the Law Keepers, know that he had brought about the completion of their Law? No, they didn’t know it. Not then.
When the WORK was done, all the powers of the God of the Universe, the God of All Heaven pressed back down into him and he was transformed. He lived again, not just surviving, but totally renewed. The yoke was thrown off of him… first one of all. The yoke of death. It was RESURRECTION. The first fruit of the Newness of Life. He was ushered out of the darkness by angels too bright to look on.
He was seen by many. His friends, his followers, hundreds of people saw him over a period of days. He had fresh new life. An incorruptible body. Heavenly powers. But his piercings remained for all to see, to examine. It could not be explained.
This was real trouble for the world. The entire world, not just his city, not just for Rome, but all. He had accomplished a change in the world which could not be denied, could not be ignored, could not be destroyed. He lived again. He gives us that same life. He lives today.
He is the Lord of Life.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah Chapter 53 NIV version of the Bible
Painting at top by Caravaggio~ 16th Century
Christ portrait by Il Cuercino~16th Century