The Pastor's Pen - The Cross of Christ

Writer Author  Reverend Monita Dukhia
Christian Article : God's Love  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Dearly beloved, when you think about the cross of Christ, how does it impact your Christian faith, thoughts and mood? Do you view the cross of Christ as an offense because the act of crucifixion was so horrific or do you see it as the ultimate sacrifice upon which the Righteous One gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice for us so we may be reconciled to God the Father? The Greeks of Christ’s time viewed the cross as the an offence because victims suffered in a agony for days before expiring, exposed to blazing sun and the ridicule of passers by. Often those that were condemned to die by crucifixion on the cross often begged their tormentors to kill them it was impossible for them to kill themselves, because the struggle for breath became a reflex action. To the Jews of Christ’s time, condemnation to die on a cross was the ultimate disgrace and was reserved for the vilest of offenders of Jewish law. So the question becomes, then “How could Christ die on the cross as a common criminal in what is viewed as an offense and disgrace and how could we as Christians proclaim the event as some sort of triumph?

The Jewish leaders, unable to refute Christ’s teachings and fearful of losing their positions of power in the synagogue, sought His death. Therefore they diligently sought His death successfully delivered Him to the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate where He was ultimately sentenced to death on the cross as shown by the following scripture:

Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. Jn. 19:16-19

But before blame could be ascribed to anyone, we ought to remember that we are all responsible in sentencing Christ to the cross….because our sin made it necessary for Christ to die, since it was the only way by which we could be brought back into relationship with God the Father.

In order to be a follower of Christ, we must pick up our cross and follow Him as shown by the following scripture;

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt 16:24-25

The cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent death of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends and family because he was not coming back. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more. As Christians; Christ encourages us to pick us our figurative and spiritual crosses and follow Him up yonder that steep hill that is wrought with thorns and biers so that we could draw close to Him and become like Him! Remember the servant is not greater than the master, therefore if our Lord had to bear His cross to physical death, we must also bear ours!

So dearly Beloved, what do you see when you gaze upon the cross of Christ? Do you see redemption, love, grace, or are you ashamed and offended by it? Christ died a bloody, painful, shameful death, and cursed death. He was nailed to the cross, as a sacrifice bound to the altar. He was lifted up as the brazen serpent, hung between heaven and earth because we were unworthy of either, and abandoned by both. His hands were stretched out to invite and embrace us; He hung upon the cross, dying gradually in the full use of reason and speech, that He might actually resign Himself a sacrifice. He was crucified between two thieves as further evidence of his shame and abasement and so that the scriptures can be fulfilled, He was numbered among the transgressors. He did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, nor was His precious blood mingled with that of bulls and goats; but He died among the criminals, and mingled His blood with theirs who were sacrificed to public justice.

Christ our beloved Saviour who was clothed with glory was stripped of it all, and clothed with shame instead. Indeed, Christ who was the praise of angels was made a reproach of men for our sakes. Christ who had been with eternal delight and joy in the bosom of His Father now in the extremities of pain and agony. For six hours Christ hung upon the cross; from 9am to 3pm. In those horrid hours of sufferings, see our Beloved Saviour, bleeding, struggling, and ultimately dying without any support in heaven or on earth; but not before He proclaimed

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luk 23:34

So dearly beloved, what do you see when you look at the cross of Christ? A teacher who stood on the mount and preached the beatitudes and spoke words of wisdom for us to live by? Or do you see a healer who gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, and healed the lepers? Or perhaps an idealist expounding views that are unrealistic? What do you see?

I see AGAPE LOVE; the eternal, selfless love of God, i.e. the very essence of God the Father being poured out on the cross of shame and sacrifice to redeem all us and to reconcile us back to Him! I see God’s grace and His final attempt to reconcile a sinful fallen mankind back unto His bosom! I see a loving Gracious Father who loved mankind, the work of His hands with a selfless love so that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us! I see perfect peace in the eyes of a condemned Saviour Jesus Christ as He was mocked, scorned, insulted, and suffered all manner of indignities unfit for the Prince of Heaven. I see a calm in the centre of a raging storm, created by sin and Satan! I see the Light of God’s love breaking through the darkness of sin, and shattering it forever so we can come boldly to the Throne of Grace and cry “Abba Father” I see the perfect LOVE on the face of our Lord who died on the cross. I see hope, peace, grace, strength, and love that will carry me through whatever trials, and tribulations that may come my way. I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit of God residing within me and drawing me to the wondrous cross of Christ, where His image, perfect will, grace, favour and love is reflected in every part my life. Be blessed.

Reverend Monita Dukhia

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