If you happen to be in the Philippines during the Lent season, the pictures in this article is a scene you would probably get a chance to see. Filipinos are very religious people. Dominantly Catholic, every Filipino knows very well about what happened to Jesus at Calvary about 2,000 years ago. But sadly, many here still do not understand that Christ's sacrifice was done so that we will not anymore pay for our own sins. Many Filipinos think that they should still add something to the sacrifice our Savior went through, something similar to what He did, so that they could make their way to Heaven when they die. Watch videos on video-sharing sites of these practices of Filipinos and you'll see that they'll even go to the ultimate by crucifying themselves on crosses.
The Bible is very clear that we need not add anymore to what Jesus had already accomplished. Hebrews 10:14 tells us that "...by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." It was a sacrifice that is complete and lacking nothing. It was a death that fully satisfied the demands for justice of an all powerful and holy Judge. When Jesus rose from the grave, there was no need for Him to do it again. This was the essence of Hebrews 10:12 when it said, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." There is no need for Christ to leave His throne in Heaven again for the purpose of making a payment for the sins of mankind.
His sacrifice was a perfect one, not like the animal sacrifices that Old Testament people had to do again and again during their time. The blood those lambs shed were only for temporary covering of sins. The blood Jesus shed cleanses sin in a person's life once and for all. This was the reason why John the Baptist said of Jesus in John 1:29, "...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." And why was Jesus a perfect sacrifice? Because He was a sinless God who went down to the level of such a non-significant creature (man) compared to Him to provide for salvation. Imagine? God, the Creator and Controller of the universe, gave His life for man! He allowed Himself to die a wicked criminal's death despite having no sins found in Him. Oh, what shame! Oh, what suffering He endured! Oh, what love and mercy He had for us!
When Jesus had fully met the demands of God's justice on that cruel cross, He proclaimed, "It is finished" and then he died (John 19:30). The perfect sacrifice had now completed the payment for our sins. His lifeless body that had gone through unimaginable torture was soon laid on a tomb. But something wonderful happened after three days inside that tomb. He that was lifeless three days before now was full of life. He rose from the grave to conquer death so that us who have seen the seriousness of our sins and have believed that His sacrifice is the only payment for those sins can someday conquer death as well. There couldn't be any sacrifice out there that can achieve what Jesus' sacrifice had done...pay for our sins and give us eternal life in Heaven. This is why the Christian can always sing, "Oh, victory in Jesus!"
Dennis Aglosolos, the Director of Living Waters - Asia, will be answering questions.