30 Mar The Power of the Cross
Imagine His pain.
The heavy wooden beam of the cross hung across His lacerated and bleeding shoulders as the procession of the condemned Christ and His executioners began its slow journey from the Roman jail to His crucifixion site. The path snaked through the city and up the hill, an impossible journey for a wounded man with such a heavy burden. With enormous blood loss and in shock, Jesus stumbled and fell.
When they arrived at Golgotha, the beam was placed on the ground and Jesus was thrown backward on top of it. His entire body pressed against the wooden stake. The soldiers stretched His arms out against the cross beam.
The Roman soldier with the hammer grabbed His arm and dug into Jesus’ wrist to locate the depression at the top of His hand. Once the executioner was satisfied he had found the spot, he drove a heavy, square, wrought iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood, ignoring the screams of pain. He moved to the other side and repeated the action.
He Took Our Sin
Imagine Jesus, turning His head toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. Imagine Jesus seeing the mallet, the nail, and the soldier’s hand. Believe that Jesus saw something else. Through the eyes of scripture we can see what those who were there that Friday could not see. But Jesus knew it was there.
Colossians 2:14 states,
He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.
Between Jesus’ hand and the wooden cross was a list. A long list. A list of our mistakes: our lusts, our lies, greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins.
Dangling from the cross are the bad choices from last year and the years before. There in broad daylight, for all of heaven to see, was the comprehensive eternal list of all our evil thoughts, wicked actions, and failures.
The list however cannot be read. The words cannot be deciphered. The mistakes are covered. The sins are hidden. Jesus’ hands hide those at the top; His blood runs down the Cross and covers every sin down the list.
ALL OUR FAILURES ARE BLOTTED OUT – FOREVER
His left foot was pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each foot. The searing agony of the nail tore through the nerves and bone of the feet. A sign was nailed to the top of the cross that read “King of the Jews.” As His arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over His muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain.
Jesus fought to raise Himself to get a short breath. Tissue was torn from His lacerated back every time He moved up and down against the rough timber. Jesus felt a deep crushing pain in His chest and the chill of death crept through His tissue. With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His seventh and last cry. “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
His Death, Our Forgiveness
The Roman soldier made doubly sure Jesus was dead by driving his sword through Christ’s ribcage, piercing the heart, and immediately blood and water drained from his wounded body. Thereby Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart.
Envision Jesus on that cross. Take a moment to see yourself there. It was my sins and your sins which nailed Jesus to the Cross. But now — see those sins nailed to the Cross. Done. Forgiven.
Why did He do it? Because he loved us, he valued us that much.
BUT – What does it mean today for us?
Life is Not Futile
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11
Failures are Not Fatal
For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:12 ISV
Death is Not Final
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
Does your life feel futile? Doesn’t have to.
Do some of your failures seem fatal? They aren’t.
Does the grave appear to be the final stop? According to Christ, your death is just the start of the something great.
There is a truth greater than all the losses and sorrows of life. And it can be discovered in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Through his death, your life has purpose and meaning. You are forgiven and loved by a Savior who died for you. And an empty tomb proclaims that death does not have the final word.
Peace is Our Reward
Peace where there should be pain. Confidence in the midst of crisis. Joy in place of tears.
What’s so GOOD about “Good FRIDAY”? Because of that supernatural Friday, we have the daily power for abundant living now … with eternal life as a bonus. WOW — mind blowing! Wonderful! TGIF
THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY!
What are you going to do to celebrate this wonderful gift?