Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Embrace The Cross

John 19:17 - "...and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha."

Jesus started out carrying His own cross.

By the time He got to Calvary someone else was carrying it.

There are many scenarios surrounding the short walk from the Praetorium to the Place of the Skull.

Some say that Calvary, or the Place of the Skull, or Golgotha was the place where Adam was buried.

There is no way that can be proved, although it makes good food for contemplation.

I saw yet another rendition of the Passion story the other day. It was a well acted out scene where Jesus just arrived at the place of crucifixion. Exhausted and beaten bloody raw He was thrown to the ground a few feet away from the Cross.

Most every other crucifixion scene shows Jesus being manhandled onto the Cross.

This version took a very long moment and making it pregnant with anticipation, shows Jesus crawling in the dirt, with every last ounce of strength He could muster, dragging Himself up onto the Cross, rolling over on His back, and stretching Himself out to await the driving of the nails.

It was for me the most stirring visual of the idea of Jesus embracing His Cross I have ever seen.

Whether that's the way it happened exactly or not, it got the truth across.

The truth is that Jesus did indeed embrace His Cross willfully. He gave Himself over for our behalf.

This is why the death of Jesus Christ is a sacrifice and not just a murder, assassination, or execution.

Jesus indeed embraced what had been traditionally observed as being a torture machine, and made it an object of our faith.

Jesus made the Cross something to be revered, admired, and drawn to.

Jesus made the Cross something we are to endure with Him, picking up our own and bearing it daily in following Him.

The Cross of Jesus Christ is central to our faith as believers and followers of Christ.

The Cross of Christ is central to all of biblical history both Old and New Testament.

The Cross of Christ is what God planned from before the foundation of the world itself to be the instrument upon which the very salvation of the human race would be won back from Satan.

Never cheapen the Cross. Never theologize or philosophize it away into pop liberal doctrine.

Never shy away from the Cross, but embrace it as an altar of grace and an an instrument of God's Righteousness.

Nothing of any truth or value works for us if we do not pass by the Cross first.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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