But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
The text says Christ died. He did a great deal besides dying, but the crowning act of His career of love for the ungodly, and that which rendered all the rest available to them, was His death for them. He actually gave up the ghost, not in fiction, but in fact. He laid down His life for us, breathing out His soul, even as other men do when they expire. That it might be indisputably clear that He was really dead, His heart was pierced with the soldier’s spear, and forthwith came there out blood and water. The Roman governor would not have allowed the body to be removed from the cross had He not been duly certified that Jesus was indeed dead. His relatives and friends who wrapped Him in linen and laid Him in Joseph’s tomb, were sorrowfully sure that all that lay before them was a corpse. The Christ really died, and in saying that, we mean that He suffered all the pangs incident to death; only He endured much more and worse, for His was a death of peculiar pain and shame, and was not only attended by the forsaking of man, but by the departure of His God. That cry, “My God, my God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?” was the innermost blackness of the thick darkness of death.
Our Lord’s death was penal, inflicted upon Him by divine justice; and rightly so, for on Him lay our iniquities, and therefore on Him must lay the suffering. “It pleased the Father to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” He died under circumstances which made His death most terrible. Condemned to a felon’s gibbet, He was crucified amid a mob of jesters, with few sympathising eyes to gaze upon Him; He bore the gaze of malice and the glance of scorn; He was hooted and jeered by a ribald throng, who were cruelly inventive in their taunts and blasphemies. There He hung, bleeding from many wounds, exposed to the sun, burning with fever, and devoured with thirst, under every circumstance of contumely, pain, and utter wretchedness; His death was of all deaths the most deadly death, and emphatically “Christ died.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
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