The Case For Easter by Lee Strobel and was excited about reading it because I have read his other popular books in the series, as well as watched the corresponding videos. I did a short review on those in a previous blog post if you want to check that out.
First thing you should be aware of when reading this book is that the medical description of the crucifixion is graphic and very difficult to read. But as tough as it was to think about, it was necessary for me to fully understand what actually happened to Jesus on the cross. I'm sure most of us have heard the story told "He was beaten and killed for our sins" but have we really heard the full story about what Jesus endured?
Did you know that the pain was so intense and so brutal that they had to invent a new word just to describe it. Excruciating. Excruciating literally means 'out of the cross'. Think about that: they had to create a new word because there was nothing in the language to describe the intense anguish caused during the crucifixion.
As the medical expert describes each excruciating moment that Jesus went through - reality hit me hard. I literally fell to the floor and began to sob. I did those things to Him. My sin put Him on that cross. I am responsible for His torture and death. It was me who caused such unthinkable pain. The soldiers may have physically carried out the execution that day, but I am the reason He died. It was me, my sin, that killed Him.
He loved my imperfect, sinful, wretched self so much that He went through incomparable torment and suffering and ultimately His death so that I could escape the fate of eternal suffering in Hell. That is instant humility. Knowing the true cost of my freedom is sobering. And I will spend the rest of my life in loving fellowship with the only One who despite what I have done, is not only capable of forgiving me, but wants to forgive me and to lovingly embrace me. How could I possibly reject Him after all He has done? That would be ungratefulness in its highest form. My primary goal and passion is to live my life as a reflection of my gratitude towards Him.
My responsibility for His death does not prompt a life of sorrow and guilt. I live with joy because I have been forgiven. Christ conquered death. He rescued me. And I can live with the promise of eternal life and His endless love because of His saving grace! All of us who accept His gift of salvation can experience this joy and freedom. What a reason to celebrate!
As far as my opinion about the book, I thought it was very thought provoking and insightful. It's not a long book but it hits the key points that support the historic events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps I'll do more blog posts with personal reflections about this book in the future. This really is the perfect time to read it as we approach the anniversary of His resurrection! I encourage others to read it as well.