Friday, April 6, 2012

the power of the cross

It is Easter week.  Friday is the day that we remember the fact that Jesus died on the cross.  This method of punishment was meant for criminals and not for an innocent, compassionate man. 

The cross was presumed to be the end of a life that touched so many.  It was slow but sure death.  It was cruel and very painful.  This was a spectacle for the entire town and region to see and be reminded to be righteous.  It was not meant for Jesus.  Yet God intended this day and that cross for His son who took our place.

We sing about the cross.  We read about the cross.  Since the earliest memory I have of church and Christianity the cross was said to be the most important part of our faith.  Literally without a Savior, there is no salvation.  Without a way, there is no eternal life.  Without someone to take our place, there is no way to spend forever in heaven with God.  God provided the way.  The way is Jesus.  The instrument was the cross, but the cross was not the end.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

What was it like to stand at a distance, maybe outside the wall where you can barely see, watching Jesus on the cross?  He was put on the cross in a painful and crushing way that allowed Jesus to take our sin, our guilt and our destiny transforming them into what God can allow in His presence.

The cross gives us a path to heaven.  The cross gives us hope and truth of forgiveness of our sin.  The cross is the symbol that reminds us that we can in no way save ourselves.

Praise God for the cross.  But praise God for the empty tomb as well.  Jesus died on the cross where there was power.  The power of the cross is found in who hung and died there.  The truth of our salvation rests totally in Jesus who is alive and well because he fought and conquered death, even the cross.

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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happy birthday, Julie

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