The Cross of Christ
20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God . —2 Corinthians 5:20-21
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The cross of Jesus Christ is the signature symbol of the central event in the history of civilization. Yet today we depict the cross as common. Jewelers pound it into all sorts of finery so we can staple crosses to our ears and wear them around our necks. Merchandisers manufacture this symbol of unlimited atonement into fuzzy things for our rearview mirrors or decorations for our gardens. From teacups to t-shirts, people have used the cross to corner the market on crassness. Department stores hawk chocolate-covered crosses for Holy Week. Baseball players and businessmen cross themselves before a big moment. The cross itself has become big business, but it was never intended to be some lucky trinket. Making the cross common or cheap is profanity in the truest sense. Is it any surprise we have lost the wonder of what happened on Calvary?
The resurrection of Christ was the event that accomplished salvation and verified Christ's victory over death, but it was the cross of Jesus Christ that showed us the grace of God. Everything that God wants us to know about Himself comes together in those crossbeams.
Our entire purpose in life is to elevate the Cross. Think on Jesus Christ nailed to the wood. In your mind's eye, picture Him stretched out against the sky. What's He doing up there? Answer: He's subbing for you and me. He's taking God's wrath for your sin. He's satisfying the just demands of a holy God. He's paying the price that God's holiness requires so that you and I can be forgiven. In the place where our blood should have stained the ground, Jesus hung as our substitute.
You can't understand the Gospel until you understand this idea of substitution. Jesus’ death was in the place of every person who has ever lived. I am in that line. You are too. Each of us deserves to die in punishment for our own sin, but Jesus stepped in and took that penalty for each of us. —James MacDonald
- When was the last time I deeply contemplated what Christ did for me on the cross?
- Do I cheapen or make common the cross? How?
Prayer – Heavenly Father, I could never repay You for what You gave for my salvation. How is it then, that I can lessen the meaning of the cross? Forgive me when I don’t elevate the cross, or worse, when I cheapen it, or minimize its meaning. Thank You for the priceless gift of Your Son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.