Never Forget the Cross (By Shane Prewitt)

In one week, we will once again celebrate the most important event of human history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that without the resurrection of Jesus we, of all people, would be the most miserable.
It is because of the resurrection of Jesus that we can have confidence in eternal life and experience God’s power today. As Christians, when we think about the resurrection of Jesus, we can’t help but be filled with joy and gladness.
But before the resurrection, there was the cross. The two will forever be interwoven together. While it was the resurrection that confirmed Jesus to be the Son of God who had come to redeem us from our sins, it was at the cross that our sins were exchanged for His righteousness.
One of the most amazing aspects of His crucifixion is that hundreds of years before the events of that cruel day, the events surrounding Jesus’ death were foretold by the prophets. One of the most amazing prophecies about the crucifixion was foretold in Isaiah 53. 
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people (Isaiah 53:7-8).
Isaiah’s prophecy provided a very detailed and graphic description of the sufferings that Jesus would experience on the cross. So striking is the description of Isaiah’s prophecy, that over the years, skeptics have tried to suggest that today’s Christians are reading too much into the passage by relating it to the death of Jesus.
But the problem with this charge is that the New Testament reaches back to Isaiah 53 in a powerful way to prove that Isaiah was indeed talking about Jesus.
In Acts 8:30-40, we read of an Ethiopian man who was in his chariot reading from this very passage and was thoroughly confused by it. What ensued was a divine encounter by God to set the record straight not only for the Ethiopian man but for generations to come. God sent Phillip the evangelist to the man in the chariot to help him understand to who Isaiah was referring.
Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:35).
The Ethiopian man’s response was to give his life to Jesus Christ and to be immediately baptized, demonstrating his new life in Christ. God had revealed the truth of the prophecy through Philip’s explanation of the gospel, thereby leading him to salvation. Though the prophecy had been written nearly 700 years earlier, the account of the crucifixion of Jesus depicted the actual events with breathtaking detail.

As important as the resurrection is to our faith, so too was the crucifixion. So important was the crucifixion that God had men like Isaiah prophesy about the events in vivid detail hundreds of years before it happened. As we once again prepare to reflect upon the events of the Easter season, let’s not forget the importance of His sacrifice that led to our sins being exchanged for His righteousness.