Friday, April 3, 2015

The Wonderful Cross

I don't know about you,  but I am not a huge fan of the Good Friday message. Sure the cross paid the wages of my sins (Romans 3:23) and the only way for Christ to conquer death, was to die. Had there never been Good Friday, how would we celebrate Easter? The thing that separates Christianity from every other religion? But I think about what that day was like, and it just breaks my heart.

Mary was probably the only person who truly understood all of Christ's for shadowing of the cross. From the beginning she knew her son would be the Sacrificial Lamb. She knew she was raising her son to die. She had to endure those fears for years, only to watch it first hand, wanting to take the hurt from Him, the same way he was taking eternal death from us.

His disciples had been with Him throughout His whole ministry. They had heard Him preach, saw his miracles, and even had one on one time learning personal lessons. They heard Him allude to the cross over and over. However they never really understood. Even in the garden, the night before, they did not understand what He was walking into to.

The people in Jerusalem welcomed Him as a King, a Teacher, a Prophet, and as the Son of God. They laid down palms, waiting in the streets just to lay eyes on Him shouting Hosanna, Hosanna!

Five days later, those same voices were raised once again shouting Crucify Him! They once again lined the streets but this time to mock and scorn and laugh as the Savior of the World drug His cross to Galgatha. They watched as He was tortured and beaten. They heard as He used some of His last energy to ask for forgiveness for their sins. They were there when the sky turned black because God could not look down at Christ because He was covered in our sins, and still they mocked.

I always wondered how could they do that to my Jesus? How could they call for His crucifixion. How did they not know He was who they had been waiting for?

But here's the ugly truth. I mine as well have been there shouting Crucify Him! My sins drove the nails into His hands. Not following God gave Him lashes. My disobedience was the crown of thorns. My selfishness was the blood pouring down. My overt refusal to do what I know is right was a mockery to the King of the Jews. It was me who put Him on the cross. It was you too. There is not one of us perfect enough to say we didn't need Him to die for us.

I am ashamed that my sin killed my Savior. But like the Psalm says, "joy comes in the morning". Sunday morning the stone will roll to the side. The sun will shine on an empty tomb. The angels will say, "why are you looking for Him here? He is not here but he was risen just as He said He would!" And just like Mary, when Jesus says my name, I will know it was Him.

His love took something terrible, ugly, dirty, and full of hate, and turned it into the wonderful cross. The symbol of our new lives. He can do to your life what He did to the cross. Turn it into something new. This Good Friday remember that in the midst of the sad reminder of His suffering, He did get down from the cross. He conquered death for you. Know eternal life is an option because He was willing to do what we couldn't!  Amen!