The Death that Saves

The Death that Saves. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
The Death that Saves. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

All of us were seated around the dining table at lunch time when Poppa raised this question to me in the presence of our kids, “How has God shown His love to all humanity?”

Eagerly, I answered his question and explained to our kids about God’s love:

“God has shown His love to us that while we were still sinners, He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as a ransom for many, so that we may receive eternal life through Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 5:8, Jn. 3:16, Mk. 10:45)

Dying on the cross might be an overused phrase when we share Christ’s love to our friends, whether they be believers or non-believers. We have become over-familiar with this phrase that some of us have developed a tendency to overlook the weight of suffering that Jesus had gone through during His last few hours as human on earth. The agony was so intense that He was sweating with blood (hematohidrosis) while praying the night before His arrest—He knew the price He had to pay just to rescue us from sins. It was never easy.

If we shall look back on crucifixion in Roman history, this public capital punishment is not just served to any criminal but to someone whom the state considers to have committed a horrifying crime—someone they consider to be the enemy of the state. According to the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, “Christ was crucified on the pretext that he instigated rebellion against Rome, on a par with zealots and other political activists.” This matched with the faulty accusation that Jesus received from the whole assembly in Luke 23:2. In this text, the crowd shouted, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” However, Pontius Pilate found no guilt in Jesus for he knew that it was only out of self-interest (Mark 15:10) that the crowd wanted Him crucified.

Back in the old days of crucifixion, the criminal was scourged, maimed, whipped, scoffed, and humiliated to draw attention. He was to walk the road while carrying a wooden beam for everyone to see. There, he was to be nailed and hung until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. In Jesus’ case, He knew it was finished when everything was fulfilled according to the Scripture. He bowed his head and gave up His spirit. (Matt. 19:28-30)

The night before Jesus’ arrest, He was at the Mount of Olives (Garden of Gethsemane) praying for He knew the terrible suffering was ahead of Him. After his arrest, He was passed on from Caiaphas before the Council full of elders, both chief priests and scribes, then to Pontius Pilate and Herod, then back to Pontius Pilate again. When he was arrested, he was condemned by the crowd, mocked and beaten. The soldiers blindfolded him as they struck him, demanding him to prophesy who struck him. All throughout, he had not slept from the day before His ordeal up to His final hour.

“He died on the cross to pay for our sins,” the cornerstone of Christian belief, perhaps an overly familiar phrase to many believers and non-believers alike. But without truly grasping the meaning behind such execution, shall we never truly understand the kind of suffering our King had gone through just to save all of us sinners who chose to believe.

Would you die for a friend? Worse, would you die for someone who treated you like an enemy?

I asked Erwin, “Would you die for your daughter?”

Without hesitation, he answered, “Yes, I will. Even if it causes me to go through what Jesus went through just to save either Hale or Chantry, I will.”

“But, would you die for other children?”

“No, I won’t,” Erwin quickly replied.

As parents, because of our unconditional love for our children, we can say without hesitation how willing we are to offer our lives as a sacrifice just for these little ones to experience the life we desire for them. Same with Jesus. But what we, humans, are not capable of doing, is to die for other children who are not ours.

As we explained this to our kids, Erwin emphasized, “Jesus did not just die for you, but to other kids whom you know or may not know, too.” That’s how immense God’s love is to everyone who chooses to be His child.

Jesus only asks us to believe in Him, repent, and confess our sins… He asks us to turn away from our sins 180 degrees, not 360 degrees. Out of the sincere commitment from our hearts, shall we develop this day-to-day relationship with our God. He will reveal Himself in many ways. Personally, I have experienced God’s intervention even in the time when I least expected it.

Accepting Him as my Lord and Savior was not a life free from problems. Obstacles may still arise but the huge difference between my old life and what I have now, the new life, is becoming solely dependent on God’s leading as my personal Lord and Savior—the assurance of salvation that I have in Him which can never be taken away. (John 10:27-28)

If you want to surrender your life to Jesus and call Him your Father and Savior, would you pray this prayer with me?


“Lord, Jesus, thank you for loving me that even though I’m a sinner, you still chose to die on the cross for me. Please rescue me from the hopeless pit of transgressions. Please help me to depend and trust in You alone. Today, I ask you to come into my heart. Be my Lord and Savior and I commit to follow and obey you. I love you Jesus. Thank you for loving and forgiving me, Amen.


If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, start by reading the Bible daily. It is through the Scripture that the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus in your heart. Pray that you will develop more hunger in His Word. For there’s no such thing as a “lone Christian”, God has called you to enter a relationship with a community of believers through Bible study and fellowship. May God be with you.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16 ESV)