favorite things: the Cross of Christ
I used to think it so morbid to celebrate the Cross on which Jesus was crucified, that it was not the focus we should have but rather we should look to the Resurrection instead. And while the Resurrection is our victory touchpoint, I have come to understand that the Cross is key to seeing the significance of Jesus Himself. I can celebrate that dark day when Jesus allowed Himself to have all the evil of humanity heaped upon His shoulders by Almighty God. I can celebrate that Jesus submitted to a punishment that He did not deserve simply and only because He loved His father’s created beings so much that He wouldn’t allow us to suffer for all eternity when He could take our place. I can celebrate that Jesus, as a man on this earth, allowed Himself to be cast away from God’s presence, the presence of His own father, because the sight of the Son wearing all humanity’s sins required that He be removed from the presence of a Holy God. I can celebrate the Cross because Jesus took it on Himself, willingly, so that I would never have to be condemned.
When Jesus hung for hours and hours on the cross, He saw the faces of every single person who would ever live. He knew every single name. He knew my name. And He knew yours. And with our faces in mind, He stayed on a wooden cross, hanging between two thieves, accepting the punishment for the sins of the entire world, for the wrongs of all humanity, the wrongs of all time. He stayed on that cross in excruciating agony so we wouldn’t have to pay an eternal price. So that you and I could live forever in the heavenly realm. Without that sacrifice, we have no hope and no future. When we die, we suffer beyond anything we could ever imagine on this earth. Whether you believe it or not, the fact remains that without the sacrifice of Jesus, you and I have no hope for victory over the evil of the world. But because He stayed on that cross until the sacrifice was complete, we do have hope and we do have eternity and we do have victory in this earthly life and beyond. So I celebrate what my Savior did for me, and I celebrate that He did it for you, too. Whether you accept this sacrifice or not, He still did it for you.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. — John 3:16-18 (The Message)
Posted on 10 April 2009, in Stories I Tell and tagged Christianity, El Shaddai, faith, forgiveness, hope, How God Works, land of promise, Life Unabridged, my favorite things, passion, redemption, Savior, victory. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.