Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Cross of Good Friday

Cross In A Cemetery

The Cross is probably one of the most readily recognized symbols. Yet for many people it is so familiar that it has lost the ability to connect people with the emotional event that changed history.
Two thousand years ago,  the cross was the torture instrument that killed the Son of God who came to earth to reveal God's love for mankind.

I think of that day.  I think of what it must have been like for the people who witnessed it.  For those who loved Jesus, His family, His followers, it must have been agony to watch - what thoughts, emotions whirled over and over in their bewildered minds and hearts. 

But then there were also the chief priests, the scribes, the elders who watched with cold hearts and mocking voices.  It is hard to imagine how these religious leaders could be so hard, so cruel that they  could take pleasure in the suffering of Jesus.  Finally, they had won - Jesus would trouble them no more!
They said mockingly, "If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross and we will believe Him."    Will those words come back to haunt them on judgment day?  Jesus DID come down from the cross and LIVED .... but did they believe?   No.

There were those who simply walked by, with only a turn of the head to look upon the one suffering on the cross and blasphemed Him, mocking that Jesus had said He would destroy the temple and build it up in three days !  How ridiculous...

I look at the Roman centurion who stood and watched and was so moved he cried out ...  "Truly this was the Son of God!"    I wonder,  when Jesus rose from the dead did this centurion seek out the disciples of Jesus and became a believer ?  I like to think that he did.

We are once again remembering Good Friday - believers and non-believers are reminded of that historical day.
 Everyone has a response ...
-- a shrugging of the shoulders and dismissing it as something irrelevant to them
--  a passing  regret that a good man was condemned to a torturous death
--  a thankfulness for a holiday from work
--  a mocking that people have lifted this Man up to be God - and created a religion around Him
--  a tug at their heart and a wondering thought  -  could this be the Son of God? What does it mean?
--  a humble recognition and deep thankfulness and profound gratitude that this One on the cross came from heaven - God in human flesh -  to suffer for mankind, to offer to every man the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

What will be your response ? 
Do you hear Jesus ask, as you lift your eyes to His cross .....

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  
Behold and see ..."  
Lam. 1:12

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