When I think about the cross upon which Jesus died, I think of all that it represents.
First let me say that when we talk about the cross, we are referring to Jesus’ death on the cross. We are not to amplify or glorify any one thing, person or Country above God. The cross itself does not save us, but we use the term signifying the death of Jesus upon it.
When looking at God's overall master plan, we are thankful that it included the final stage which we call the New Covenant. The blood of animals would no longer be required as a sacrifice to Him. The prayers of a High Priest who could enter the Holy of Holies would no longer be required for atonement of sins. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and He provided the way for access to and reconciliation with God.
Because of the cross, we can now approach God and be reconciled to Him on our own. Because of the cross, we can enter the Holy of Holies through Jesus our high Priest.
So, what does the cross represent? In simple terms, it represents the following;
- Love: Not just love, but unconditional love. A love that knows no bounds. A love that we cannot entirely comprehend. God loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins. Jesus loved us enough, to hang on the cross and suffer for our sins even though He could have called a legion of angels to save Him.
- Grace: The free and unmerited favor of God was bestowed upon humankind on the cross. The old hymn “Amazing Grace” sums it up quite well; “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”
- Mercy; Mercy is defined as compassion shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Our sins separate us from God and God can have no part or dwelling with sin. Unworthy as we are, God could have punished us, but instead he made a way to Him, through the cross and the blood of Jesus.
- Forgiveness: When we accept Jesus as our Savior, truly repenting of our sins, God forgives us. He casts our sins thus far committed away from us, as far as the east is from the west.
- Humiliation, Suffering & Death: Christ suffered the humiliation of being mocked and crowned with a crown of thorns. He suffered the agony of being nailed to a cross and left to die with his weight pulling against the nails. He endured the humiliation, suffering and death so that His blood could cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Colossians 1:22 New International Version
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
Romans 5:7-11 New International Version
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
The Benefits Of The Cross Are Free
God's love, grace, mercy and forgiveness are free for the asking, but what does God expect from us thereafter? He expects our love, worship and obedience. He expects us to live, talk and act as His children, following the teaching of Jesus and showing our circle of the world what it means to be a Christian.
Joshua 22:5 New International Version
5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
As God instructed Joshua under the old covenant, He expects the same from us under the new covenant.
In closing, as we worship God daily with a “worshipful attitude”, let us not forget to dwell on the cross and what it means to us. Let us also take daily inventory with spiritual introspection, making sure that we are being obedient to the teachings of Jesus and God’s will.
As you read the following lyrics from a great hymn, think about the cross, what Jesus did on the cross and what it means to you.
"ROOM AT THE CROSS FOR YOU"
(Ira F. Stanphill) (1946)
The cross upon which Jesus died,
Is a shelter in which we can hide;
And its grace so free is sufficient for me,
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea
There's room at the cross for you,
There's room at the cross for you,
Tho millions have come, There's still room for one
Yes, there's room at the cross for you.