Monday, April 1, 2013

The Cross

The cross, an ornament displayed in the church, or maybe a shiny piece of jewelry. How often do we see the cross and give it little more than a passing thought of Christianity?

Good Friday calls us to something deeper. It calls us to contemplate the full realities of the cross.

The reality was ugly and messy. It was horrific, bloody. A place of nails piercing flesh. A place of suffering. A place where the wicked died. It was the place of punishment!

Death on the cross was no less than wickedness deserved. 

Romans 6:23a  For the wages of sin is death!  

It was the place where the price of my sin and my wickedness was paid. Paid by another. Paid by the One who had committed no offense.

Isaiah 53:5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Not my sin alone, but the sin of the world was paid on that cross.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

It was the place where pain and suffering would not deter bold, compassionate love! 

Say it with me...For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son! That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life! John 3:16

Oh to love in such a way. How often I fall short.

The cross, where the greatest sacrifice ever was made! It was made for me. It was made so that the One who paid my debt, could one day wipe away my tears. So He could heal my wounded heart. So He could call me His own.

As my family walked out of Good Friday services, Miss Emma Bean looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm so very sad."

"Me too baby. Me too."

It's not an easy thing, this knowing Jesus died for me. He suffered for me. He paid what I owed. Yet there is relief too. Relief that I no longer owe the debt of sin because I choose to believe in Him, and in my repentance I receive His mercy and love.

The cross is not so easily dismissed as ornament on Good Friday. It makes for a heavy heart knowing the weight of His suffering on my behalf. 

But the story doesn't end there!

Can I get a Whoop Whoop!?

Luke 24:1-3  Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

6-7 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."

46-47  Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations."

Jesus was not just a good man. He was not just a prophet! He is the Son of God, come to earth, to settle what we owed by His suffering on the cross! It was messy and painful and ugly, and it was the greatest act of forgiveness, love, and compassion EVER! It was an act full of promise. 

Our mourning turns to gladness! 




And remembering that we have fallen short, we have sinned, the debt was paid, and our redemption is only a humble moment of repentance away.


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