FOX News reported today that in the Philippines seven people were nailed to wooden crosses in a Good Friday reenactment of Jesus Christ’s suffering on Golgotha more than 2,000 years ago.
One woman was among the Roman Catholic devotees who were nailed to the crosses observed by thousands of people.
FOX news explained, “The spectacle reflects a unique brand of Catholicism that merges church traditions with folk superstitions. Many of the mostly impoverished penitents undergo the ritual to atone for sins, pray for the sick or for a better life, or give thanks for what they believe were God-given miracles.”
Today we must understand that when Jesus cried, “It is finished!” nothing else had to be done to pay the ransom price for our sins. Man doesn’t need to do anything to obtain forgiveness. God provided the only acceptable sacrifice for sin.
In the Old Testament there was a sacrificial system that previewed the vastly superior sacrifice of Jesus. However, on Calvary the one perfect, final sacrifice of Christ abolished all other sacrifices.
The priests of the Old Testament had to daily offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, but they had no permanent efficacy, but the sacrifice of Jesus was a once-in-for-all sacrifice providing a new and living way by which men could draw near to Him with spiritual assurance (Hebrews 10:19).
William Bradbury must have known that there is nothing we can add to the atoning death of Christ our Lord. Bradbury had written a hymn with these words:
“Nothing, either great or small, remains for me to do:
Jesus paid, and paid it all, all the debt I owe.”
Elvina Hall picked up on those words and pondered them for some time. On a hot Sunday morning in 1865, Mrs. Hall was in the choir loft of her church listening to her pastor pray. Her thoughts drifted to other things and she began to ponder the meaning of the cross and Bradbury’s words. She picked up a and turned to the blank page inside the front cover and began to write the words to: “Jesus Paid it All.” She said, “So rapidly did the words pour into the heart, that before the prayer was ended, I had completed the hymn, and, as I rose from my knees, the chorus words rose jubilantly to my lips.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow.”
Notice the words to verses one and two:
I hear the Savior say,
They strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.
For nothing good have I
Whereby they grace to claim
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.
So there is nothing we can do to merit God’s gift of eternal life – not crucifixion or martyrdom. We must simply trust in His sacrificial death. Once you realize the debt He paid for your sins you will want to follow Him and obey His commands, but you just can’t do enough to earn God’s great gift of salvation.