[Jesus said]: "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
Early in Julius Caesar's political career, the people of Rome hated him so badly that he thought it best to leave his country. He sailed for the Aegean island of Rhodes, but on the way pirates attacked his ship and Caesar was captured.
The pirates demanded a ransom of 12,000 gold pieces, and Caesar's staff was sent to make the arrangements for payment. For almost 40 days, the pirates held Caesar captive.
He would jokingly tell them that he would someday capture and crucify them. The amused kidnappers dismissed his threats. But when the ransom was paid and Caesar was released, the first thing he did was gather his army together to pursue the pirates.
The pirates indeed were captured and crucified!
This was the Romans' attitude toward crucifixion. This cruel death was reserved only for the worst criminals. It was meant to show extreme contempt for the condemned. And the pain and humiliation experienced by someone crucified by the Romans was unmatched by any other.
They condemned and humiliated the person and name of Jesus thousands of years ago just as many people do today. And even though He died a lowly death, we as believers can rejoice in knowing that "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).
Jesus died for the sins of all--including those who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross. You may know of someone today who doesn't know Jesus. Will you be the one to tell them about the forgiveness He gives? Will you be the one who points them toward eternal life through Jesus?
PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to bring someone into your life this Easter who you can share the story of His death, burial, and resurrection, and the price He paid for their sins.
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