Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, the General Secretary of The Church of Pentecost, has emphasised that Jesus Christ endured the worst death possible in order to reconcile humankind back to God.
According to him, the biblical account of the gruesome crucifixion of Jesus Christ recorded in Matthew 26:36–27:56, Mark 14:32–15:41, Luke 22:39–23:49, and John 18:15–19:37 should not be taken lightly, for it is a true representation of events that took place.
“It is important to note that Christ’s suffering—His passion—was real. It is not as though He simply appeared to suffer; He actually suffered and died,” he said.
Apostle Kumi-Larbi shared this on Friday morning when he spoke on the topic: “The Purpose of the Passion of Christ” at the Good Friday morning service of the Accra-Newtown Zone (La Area) of the church, as part of this year’s Easter Conventions.
Using Isaiah chapter 53, Matthew chapters 26 and 27 and 1 Peter 2:21-25 as his main Scripture references, the General Secretary explained that Jesus allowed Himself to endure pain, suffering and shame for the primary purpose of restoring the broken relationship between God and humankind.
He explained that when Adam and Eve sinned against God by violating His command, they lost the relationship they had with Him and this affected all humans after them. He said that for humanity to be made right with God, there was the need to pay the price of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23).
“The New Testament letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 9:22) states plainly that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. One purpose of this letter was to explain that Jesus Christ was the very Son of God and that He gave His life’s blood for the remission of humankind’s sins,” he further explained.
He, therefore, reiterated that Christ’s sole motivation (passion) for going through the gruesome experience was so that humans would have their sins washed away, be forgiven, and be reconciled to their Maker.
According to him, “Jesus experienced genuine suffering when He was beaten and mocked; when the ‘Crown of Thorns’ was pressed on His head; when He was nailed to a cross; when He hung there and struggled to breathe; He endured this excruciating suffering to pay for our sins and save those who would trust in Him.”
Quoting 1 Peter 3:18 and 1 Peter 2:24, Apostle Kumi-Larbi said the fact that Christ was wounded for our transgressions points to the doctrine of the “Substitutionary Atonement,” which means that Jesus died as a substitute for sinners.
“We deserved to be the ones placed on that cross to die because we are the ones who live sinful lives. But, Christ took the punishment on Himself in our place—He substituted Himself for us and took what we rightly deserved,” he stated.
The General Secretary further noted that the sacrifice that Jesus made on behalf of humankind makes the celebration of Easter very essential to all believers, stressing that Easter is the very pinnacle of Christian celebration.
He, therefore, called on all persons who are yet to receive Christ to do so so as to share in the His sacrifice of atonement.
The death of Christ puts an end to the sin of mankind and in its place, the Lord has restored humanity to their rightful place as children of God, and also quickened within them a brand-new nature that can live a life of righteousness, he explained.
In concluding his sermon, Apostle Kumi-Larbi noted that included in the salvation package, is the deliverance from infirmities and diseases, because by the stripes Jesus sustained in His body, they (believers) are healed (Isaiah 53).
He, therefore, urged Christians who are battling chronic diseases or conditions to have faith and appropriate this power of healing that has been made available to them through the Resurrection.
“The same blood that paid for our sins has paid for our healing,” he said.