Holy Week: A Reminder of the Cross as the Core Message of Christianity


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Good Friday is a day when Christians all around the world focus upon the events that take place around a geographical location in Israel where Jesus was crucified and died upon the cross as the Savior of the world. The events around the Cross are also focused upon the character and capability of Jesus, a person  who’s life and death paints a picture or redemption through suffering.  The death of Jesus upon the Cross portrays the most horrid act of all humanity.  Nevertheless in the midst of depravity of men rejecting God’s Son,  God’s greatest gift is given through the complete satisfaction for a sin debt that was passed down through the human race and assumed by Christ.

The three solitary crosses tells  a story of one innocent man, who lived as a servant, hanging between two men convicted of crimes worthy of death. The emotionally charged story of the Cross portrays a picture of Jesus feeling the pain and sting of rejection from friends, family, and His followers.  It was a final rejection that culminated in that final act of bearing the pain being abandoned on the Cross in suffering that led to death.  His suffering was a public display of humiliation in the midst of sinners who had committed acts worthy of punishment.  On the Cross, Jesus gave His life as a ransom for human beings held hostage by the power of sin.  In His sacrifice, “He that knew no sin”, became sin and was nailed to a Cross by the people that He loved, served, and gave himself willingly to liberate.  Indeed, one image that resonates from the Cross is the depravity of the human race that  is juxtaposed against the grace of a loving God witnessed in the passion of Christ on the Cross.

In the rejection of Jesus as the Son of God, it was a rejection of God, as well as,  how in His goodness and demonstrated favor, virtue, and benefit for those who crucified Him.  However, in their vile and malicious acts they were so blinded by their own depravity that they could not see any need for what God offered in Christ. So their anger at what they could not see nor understand is validated by every striking striking blow of the hammer ringing out the sound of depravity.  Obviously, as religious as they were; they could not achieve a right standing with God.  Jesus was a visible reminder of their sin and the insufficiency of human efforts to remedy the sin condition.  Then, in the heinous acts of nailing the sinless Savior to the Cross,  a great paradox is portrayed in the presence of God and man. In the act of hatred for all that was good, nailing Jesus to the Cross, they were nailing down the guilt and depravity of a human race detached from God.  Indeed, the sad truth echoes from the Cross: when they got close enough to the greatest potential in life, they tried to murder it and push it away because they were not capable of a relationship with God.  In fact, they could not receive it nor understand their condition of detachment from a relationship with.  As a result, the people nailing Him to the Cross were blind, hopeless, and helpless and incapable of righteousness without God’s intervention.

When people see the life of Jesus and His death on the Cross, the attributes of His life are magnified by how He loved and served others.  Servant-hood  through the acts that He performed and the message that He communicated by willingly giving His life and surrendering in death to God’s purpose in redemption    However, what is missing from the understanding of many people who look upon the historical event (the Cross), the historical person (Jesus), is a personal relationship and personal identification with the place in history.  It is the story of the man who died abused and was rejected to offer forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance through the  grace of God.  His death on the Cross is a reminder of how all humans need a personal, spiritual attachment to God to create a healthy balanced relationship to enable a way to live effectively. Obviously, the point is that without Christ people are detached from God and His blessings.  Detachment occurred in the Garden of Eden and severed the once intimate relationship felt and experienced in every dimension of life.

An identity issue occurred and man no longer knew who he was because  relationship with God is what defined life, existence, and purpose in the Garden. As a result, their relationship, identity, and connection to spiritual life was altered in a solitary act of sin.   However, in one act sin changed  how relationship would occur with God.  On the other hand, the death of Jesus on the Cross has great theological meaning to Christianity and holds a great application to the human experience.  Do you remember the words,  “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” ( Col. 1:21-22).  Obviously, the felt need of every human being answered in the work of Christ is to have a relationship, to experience forgiveness, to remove guilt through redemption, and to know unconditional love and acceptance.

Therefore, this is the work done on the Cross by bringing a relationship of hope through His redemption.  Consequently, we have the great potential in the Cross to be connected and attached in a relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross we remember at Easter.

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