“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
It started in the garden with a tree.
It ended on a hill on a tree.
As Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree sin entered the world.
As Jesus died on a tree sin’s power was broken.
Jesus was the perfect sinless spotless Lamb. He had done no wrong. He lived a blameless life and died in our place. He became cursed by dying on a tree in order to free us from the curse of sin (see Galatians 3:13). Jesus left the throne of heaven to make a way for each of us to enter in. He stepped down to the world He had made to redeem the very people who had rejected Him.
Crucifixion was the most cruel, barbaric of deaths. It was designed to deliver maximum agony. It was a slow drawn out death, done in public for maximum humility and shame. Victims were flogged severely before it was carried out with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal that would rip off the skin and leave exposed wounds all over the victim’s body. Before His crucifixion Jesus was mocked and beaten by the Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:27-31). The beating was so severe He didn’t have the strength to carry His cross to Golgotha – a passer-by called Simon was made to carry it for Him (Matthew 27:32). Once they reached Golgotha nails would have been driven into his wrists to hang the One who made the world onto a wooden cross as a gathered crowd “derided him” (Matthew 27:39). As He hung on the cross the very act of exhalation became a constant struggle, each breath becoming sheer agony. His body would ache with unimaginable pain as raw wounds rubbed against the rough wood of the cross. Thorns from a mocking crown would have dug into His head. Incredible agony. Immense pain. And all of it poured upon the One who was totally innocent.
It should have been us on that cross. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). As Jesus died on the cross it was not because of anything He had done – it was because of what we had done. It was because of our rebellion and sin. It was because of His love for us, because of His passion to win us back, because of His desire that we should not perish but have eternal life. He didn’t need us, but because Jesus so desperately wants us He suffered for us. He gave up His rights and position, and humbled Himself, even humbled Himself to die on a cross, offering His life as a ransom for ours. He showed His love by giving up His life for ours. His love flowed red as tears and blood flowed down His battered body on the cross. By His wounds we have been healed. The debt of our sin has been paid in full. He took our sin upon Him and gave us His righteousness in the greatest exchange that there ever has and ever will be. Because of the cross our chains are gone and we have been set free. Because of the blood shed on our behalf our God and Saviour has ransomed us and set us free from the curse of sin. By His wounds we have been healed.
If you have not yet put your trust in Jesus to heal you from the curse of sin there can be no better day than today. He died that we may live. Because of the cross all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Repent of your past, leave it at the foot of the cross and trust that Jesus’ blood covers it all and clothes you in a righteousness you could never earn by your own efforts. By His wounds we have been healed!