Posted: March 29, 2013 at 4:11 a.m.
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Why do you Christians make such a big deal of Jesus’ death? After all, throughout history lots of famous people (like Socrates) have been put to death for their beliefs. What makes Jesus so special?
DEAR D.McN.: Today, Christians throughout the world will be remembering the death of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross almost 2,000 years ago. This day is often called “Good Friday,” and it recounts Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion.
Isn’t it a contradiction to call such a tragic series of events “Good Friday”? In some ways it is, because what took place then wasn’t only cruel but unjust, for Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him. In fact, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, repeatedly declared, “I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 19:4). And yet Pilate gave in to the pressure of the crowd and ordered Him put to death.
But what took place that day was truly good, because it was the most important event in human history (along with Jesus’ resurrection). The reason is because by His death Jesus paid the price for our sins. He was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He died in our place. As the Bible says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7).
History records the deaths of many great men and women. But only Christ’s death offers us the hope of forgiveness and eternal life. Take time to reflect on Christ’s death for you, and respond by giving your life to Him. The Bible says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 03/29/2013