Isn’t the cross of Jesus an enigma?
What Jesus received from us – guilt, shame, sin – brought him death. What we receive from him – freedom, salvation, and goodness – brings us life.
The Scriptures call us to remember who the Lord is and what He has done. Jesus was a real person who breathed, walked, ate, laughed, and wept. He was born of a virgin. He entered human history quietly in humble circumstances amidst common livestock. His parents were poor and his first visitors were shepherds, men in the lowest vocation in Israel’s culture.
He was no ordinary child as he was announced as the promised Messiah, the Redeemer of all, and the Savior of the world. Luke records that he grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and men. John the Baptist recognizes him as one whose sandals he is not worthy to untie. John identifies him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Yet he is divisive. And he does not yield to anyone’s agenda. Tensions grow with the Jewish and Roman authorities, Jesus is soon arrested, beaten, and crucified.
Do you remember Gethsemane?
Do you remember how Judas betrayed him?
Do you remember how Peter denied him?
Do you remember how the disciples (whom he chose) all deserted him?
Do you remember the beating Jesus suffered?
Do you remember the crown of thorns?
Do you remember the taunts and how he was spit on?
Do you remember his pierced hands and feet?
Do you remember his agony on the cross?
Do you remember his thirst?
Do you remember how he cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Do you remember the empty tomb?
Read Philippians 2:5-8.
The cross is the center of our faith. At the cross God’s love is clearly demonstrated for all of humankind. It is at the cross that Jesus reveals the heart of God for all men and women, broken and rebellious against their sovereign Creator. He died, he was buried, and he rose again.
The cross is the heart of our salvation. The great trade between the Father and the Son was enacted. Isaiah and Paul agree that the cross is the place where our wounds are healed by the death of Jesus. He did it willingly and purposefully, because it is the reason he came.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). For Christ died also for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). Do you realize the impact of 1 Corinthians 15:3-8?
Think theologically. Jesus is the only one who solved the problem of our sin and brokenness. Let us live in humble gratitude of the gift that Jesus provided by his death. Remember.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz