One popular hymn widely sung at Easter is, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” The wordings continue thus, “On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.” Have you ever stopped to explore what the cross of Jesus meant to you? It will not be a time wasted to embark on such spiritual excercise.
In fact, the sight of a cross causes me to consider what Jesus endured for humanity. Before He was crucified, imagine what He went through. He was flogged and spat on. The wicked soldiers hit Him on His head with sticks and mocked Him. He was forced to carry His cross but He could not because He was weak. They hammered nails through His flesh. Six hours later, Jesus took His final breath. A centurion who was there who saw how Jesus died declared, “Surely this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:19-20; 33-39). Painful and agonizing narration of how Jesus died. Isn’t it?
What does the cross of Jesus mean to you? Is it a decoration that you hang in a sitting room? Or jewelry for dressing? One day, I saw a lady gorgeously dressed. In addition to her beautiful attire, she also wore a crucifix chain. Out of curiosity, I enquired what the chain she was wearing symbolized. Surprisingly, she answered casually, “It’s part of my dressing.” Such a shallow knowledge of the cross is common today. As we celebrate 2019 Easter, the question is still pertinent, “What does the Cross of Jesus represent to you? Let me share with you two Biblical facts that the Cross of Jesus portrays. Of course, there are several of them. The two are:
1. It represents the price Jesus paid to bridge the gap caused by sin. Sin separates us from God. But the cross depicts the “unconditional love bridge” that God graciously and mercifully constructed for wayward sinners to be connected to Him. It reminds us that at the cross, Jesus paid the wages of sin, which is death. He shed His precious blood to atone for our sins. Freedom, deliverance from guilt, and reconciliation are made possible because of Jesus’ death. Without this act of love, we would have been eternally lost, carrying the heavy burden of guilt all the days of our lives (Ephesians 1:7). But with this open door of love, we can go back to Jesus who is ready to forgive and give the grace for a new beginning. We are no longer alienated (Colos. 1:21-22). Will you do that now?
2. The cross does not only remind me of Jesus’ death and what He did, it also reminds us what Jesus expects of us. As believers, His disciples, and candidates of heaven, we must carry our cross obediently every day (Luke 9:23). Furthermore, as Jesus died on the cross to fulfill the purpose of God, likewise I must live a crucified life in order for Christ and His glory to be seen in me (Gala. 2:20). It is unacceptable and an act of ingratitude to God, for Him to practically demonstrate and graciously lavish His love on us and to be indifference (Hebrew 2:3). You cannot escape such a great salvation.
If God is calling your attention to what the cross of Jesus stands for and you know there is need to return to Him, why not kneel down now and call Him. You will receive His forgiveness and become His son or daughter (John 1:12). When next you see a cross, remember what God did in Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 2:22-24). Happy Easter!