What Is the Good News of Yeshua? (Part 23)
Determined to have Yeshua put to death, the Jewish council dragged Him before the Roman governor of Judea. In an attempt to draw Rome into their plot, they listed their accusations and false charges, imploring the governor to carry out their desired sentence (Luke 23:2, John 18:31). Initially dismissive, the governor eventually questioned Yeshua concerning the allegation of His claim to be king of the Jews. Yet despite His profession that He was indeed “born, and… come to the world [to be king, so that He] may testify to the truth” (John 18:37), the governor found no fault with Him, and decided to let Him go. But the council was insistent, pushing back on the decision and keeping the proceedings alive.
So Yeshua was sent before the tetrarch of Galilee. No fault found. He was returned to the Roman governor. No fault found. Nothing done by Yeshua—or claimed to have been done by Him—was determined by any other authority to be worthy of capital punishment. But the leaders of Israel, refusing to accept the verdict, proceeded to incite a riot among the people and force the governor’s hand (Mark 15:11, Matthew 27:24). Finally, to pacify the crowd, the governor whipped and tore the flesh of the Savior of the world, and then immediately sentenced Him to death.
The battalion of Roman soldiers gathered together and surrounded Him… humiliating, abusing, tormenting. After stripping Him naked, they draped Him in imitative, royal garb. They gave Him a reed for a scepter and thorns for a crown, and then knelt mockingly before the One at whose Name every knee will one day bow (Philippians 2:9). They hurled insults, spat on Him, and struck Him violently and repeatedly on His head and face. And when they were finished with their tortuous taunting, they led Yeshua away to crucify Him (Matthew 27:28ff).
Upon His back, as He carried the stake for His own execution (John 19:17), Yeshua bore the unbearable weight not only of the whole world’s sins, but also of Israel’s covenants, patriarchs and promises. The culmination of all that God had been working to restore since the beginning rested literally on the Messiah’s beaten and bloody shoulders. Like a sheep led to the slaughter, Yeshua silently slogged His way to the site of His slow assassination. But what the fearful and jealous ones of Israel had devised for evil, the God of Deliverance had devised for good… and the willing sacrifice of the innocent Lamb of God was about to repair the world.
It would be no quick death upon an altar of bronze and wood as they hung Him there, upright, His arms and feet impaled against the thick crossbeam and post. The suffocating force of gravity pushed down relentlessly on His shredded and exhausted body—flesh-ripping with every inhalation, asphyxiating with each release. Suspended there in anguish—hour upon hour, mangled and suffering—He could hear only the scoffing and ridicule of those He was sent to serve. “He saved others, but he is not able to save himself!” “The Messiah! The king of [Israel]! Let him come down now from the stake, so that we may see and believe” (Mat. 27:43, Mark 15:31f). But only creation replied—as if in anguish itself—shrouding the daylight and sending darkness throughout the land (Mat. 27:45).
A shaking, withering silhouette, burning from crippling agony and thirst, Yeshua was suddenly overcome with a spark of strength. Mustering every ounce He had, the Son of David shouted in a loud, silence-shattering voice, “MY GOD! MY GOD! WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME?” (Matthew 27:46). And as Yeshua shouted again with a loud, thunderous voice, the rift of thousands of years—the distance and separation and estrangement and antagonism and grief and regret and division—between the Creator of the Universe and His once-pure, pristine creation was instantly and finally… healed.
In the shadow of the blinding light of Yeshua’s sacrifice lay the endless trail of dismembered carcasses from guiltless animals, slain for the flowing volumes of their innocent blood—the crimson fluid drained, poured, thrown and splashed about in the unceasing attempts to cover every kind of human offense, guilt and violation. Despite the mass of butchery, entrails and flesh leading to the base of that blood-stained stake, it had been impossible for the lives of goats or bulls to take away sins forever (Heb. 10:4). The God of Atonement could only accept the costly, bloody sacrificial death of this singular, incomparable Yeshua. Freely offering up Himself, the Messiah Yeshua paid a crushing debt that He never owed. And the God of Love redeemed that payment for the atonement and forgiveness of the entire world (cf. Lev. 17:11, Heb. 9:22).
And the earth quaked, and the rocks were cleaved, and the massive curtain of the Temple was split from top to bottom, as the Messiah Yeshua bowed His head and breathed out His last (Matthew 27:50f, Mark 15:37f, Luke 23:45f, John 19:30). In fulfillment of the mediation and covenants of Israel, the door of reconciliation between God and man was thrown wide open forever. Everyone who now falls at the feet of Yeshua, their sins that are as scarlet will be eternally made white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
“It has been finished.”
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