I’m pretty sure no one likes thinking about the cross – at least no one who appreciates what Jesus did for us there. But I’m also pretty sure He wants us to remember it, and in remembering it, we have to think about it, don’t we?
No book, no movie, no theater play can show us the horror of what really happened on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. It was so terrible that we probably could not stand to watch it as it happened. So instead of thinking about the horror, I propose we think about what Jesus accomplished for us. Let us think about the victory instead.
What I mean is, through the cross, God the Father has blotted out our sins – everything that could keep us from having a relationship with Him – and says, “Return to me, for I have redeemed you. I have paid your ransom.” (From Isaiah 44) Because of our sin, we are at the mercy of God… Dear friends, because of His mercy, there is no safer place to be.
You see, when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to mankind appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. (From Titus 3) God is able to declare us “not guilty” even though we deserved punishment, because He declared Jesus “guilty” on our behalf. The innocent died for the guilty. Justice was satisfied, and mercy was extended to us.
The cross was where God’s justice met His mercy. The cross is the tree that makes the bitter become sweet. (A picture of this is found in Exodus 15) The cross is the Tree of Life for us all – it is the mercy tree.
For Jesus, the cross was the instrument of a death more horrible than all the other deaths in history combined. But for us, it was the beginning of life.
Praise the Lord God that Jesus is no longer dead! Remember that the angels at the tomb said to the women who were looking for Jesus, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (From Luke 24) ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’”(From Revelation 5)