We live in a world that wants everything to look nice on the surface, but sweeps anything uncomfortable under the proverbial rug. The reality of a man dying an excruciating death isn’t fun to talk about. Yet, mentioning the crucifixion and then jumping straight to a resurrection celebration somehow sadly has become common place.
But it’s time to change that mindset. The power of the cross is something we simply cannot ignore! It has to be more than just a common place memory in our lives.
What are we telling others, including our young children about the cross? Our position must be one where we stand at the foot of the cross and prayerfully meditate and ponder the One [Jesus] who displayed the very heart of God, gave up Himself as a sacrifice, and hung and died there for us. We should never allow ourselves to escape what He unselfisly accomplished on our behalf over 2000 years ago.
If you do something self-sacrificing for someone you love and they swept it under the rug and never shared it with anyone else, how do you feel that it is minimized? Same way, we simply cannot ignore the suffering of Jesus. To do that would be sheer ignorance on our part. It would be a situation where we jeopordize having an intimate relationship with Him.
So as we draw closer to Easter, let us pause for a while to consider five characteristics of the cross and what Christ Jesus did for us there:
C – CROWNED with glory for dying in our place. In the book of Hebrews 2:9 it says, ‘But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.’ (NIV)
R – RECONCILED us to God. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Chist and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18 NIV)
O – OVERCAME and delivered us from bondage. In the gospel of John 16:33, we find these words, “These things I [Jesus] have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation [trouble, distress…] but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJB)
S – SHED the blood needed to atone for our sins. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemtion. (Hebrews 9:12 NIV)
S – SAVED us from going our own way. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV)
In summary, the CROSS is a point of reconciliation between us and God, it brings peace between us, it delivers us from the bondage of sin and brings us redemption into a place of eternal salvation through the shed blood of Jesus. So this Easter may we look to the cross, draw near to God and genuinely thank Him from the bottom of our heart for what He has done for us.
What does the cross or Easter mean to you?