by Kevin Burton
Last Sunday was Easter, a glorious day for Christians, a celebration of Jesus’ rising from the dead and sealing of salvation for those who trust in Him.
It should be by far the biggest day on the Christian calendar. It isn’t and never will be because the big American marketing machine is behind Christmas. This is another quibble for another time.
Before we get too far from Easter I must raise the question posed by Alistair Begg, speaker on the national Truth For Life radio program, on the day before Easter.
That question springs from Luke 23:31 “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
In verse 28, Jesus is being led away to the cross and a large crowd is following, weeping for Him. “But Jesus turning unto them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children’” (Luke 23:28 KJV).
This is what Jesus is saying, according to Begg:
“If the innocent substitute for sinners suffers in this way, what will be done when the sinner himself – the dry tree – falls into the hands of an angry God.
“When God saw Jesus in the sinner’s place, He did not spare Him; and when He finds the unregenerate without Christ, he will not spare them,” Begg writes.
“O sinner, Jesus was led away by His enemies; and you will be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you. Jesus was deserted by God; and if He, who was only imputedly a sinner, was deserted, how much more will you be?”
This is a question we should be posing to the unsaved. It’s so easy to leave them to their eggs and bunnies and baskets on Easter. But they need to know the two great truths in Romans 6:23 (KJV) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“Eloi, eloi, lama, sabachthani? What an awful shriek,” Begg writes of Jesus’ words on the cross, which translated are “my God, my God, why have You forsaken me.”
In that moment, when Jesus took upon Himself your sin and mine, God could not look on Him, even though Jesus Himself was guilty of no sin.
“But what will be your cry when you shall say, ‘O God, O God! Why have you forsaken me?” and the answer shall come back, “Because you have ignored all My counsel and would have none of My reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,” Begg writes.
“If God did not spare his own Son, how much less will He spare you! What whips of stinging pain will be yours when your conscience smites you with all its terrors.”
“You rich, you merry, you most self-righteous sinners – who would stand in your place when god says, “Awake O sword, against the man that rejected Me; smite him, and let him feel the sting forever”?
“Jesus was spat upon. Sinner, what shame will be yours!”
“We cannot sum up in one word all the mass of sorrows that met upon the head of Jesus who died for us; therefore it is impossible for us to tell you what streams, what oceans of grief must roll over your spirit if you die as you are now. You may die in this state; you may die now,” Begg writes.
I finish with Begg’s plea and mine:
“By the agonies of Christ, by His wounds and by His blood, do not bring upon yourselves the wrath to come. Trust in the Son of God and you shall never die.”