In the church I attend, a large cross stands at the front of the sanctuary. It represents the original cross where Jesus died—the place where our sin intersected with His holiness. There God allowed His perfect Son to die for the sake of every wrong thing we have ever done, said, or thought. On the cross, Jesus finished the work that was required to save us from the death we deserve (Rom. 6:23).
The sight of a cross causes me to consider what Jesus endured for us. Before being crucified, He was flogged and spit on. The soldiers hit Him in the head with sticks and got down on their knees in mock worship. They tried to make Him carry His own cross to the place where He would die, but He was too weak from the brutal flogging. At Golgotha, they hammered nails through His flesh to keep Him on the cross when they turned it upright. Those wounds bore the weight of His body as He hung there. Six hours later, Jesus took His final breath (Mark 15:37). A centurion who witnessed Jesus’s death declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (v. 39).
The next time you see the symbol of the cross, consider what it means to you. God’s Son suffered and died there and then rose again to make eternal life possible.
Dear Jesus, I can’t begin to thank You enough for taking care of my sin when You died on the cross. I acknowledge Your sacrifice, and I believe in the power of Your resurrection.
The cross of Christ reveals our sin at its worst and God’s love at its best.
In the two cameos provided in our reading today, we witness the injustice and horrors of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Verses 19–20 reveal the terrible indignity Jesus endured before going to the cross. Roman soldiers mocked, struck, and spit on Him. Next, a supernatural darkness came over the world (vv. 33–39). Many theologians believe it was then that the eternal fellowship of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—was disrupted as God the Son was made sin for us so that we might have right standing and relationship with God. The Father turned away from Him and in anguish Christ cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But because of God’s redeeming love, we will never be forsaken. How does this give you greater confidence in facing the future?