To understand the significance of The Cross, one must imagine the horrific scene on Calvary hill. Calvary, also called Golgotha–meaning skull, was immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls. Calvary is where Jesus hung, where He was crucified, His earthly body nailed to a cross.
In those days, a cross was a means by which convicted criminals were put to death. Crucifixion was perfected by the Roman empire as a manner of execution; the convicted were humiliatingly stripped bare then nailed to a cross outside the city walls. They hung there, for all to gawk at until dead.
Jesus, the only sinless man in all the world, was found guilty of a crime and sentenced to an excruciating death on a cross.
Matthew 27:45-50 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
Though the savior of the world could have saved Himself, Jesus chose to save us instead!
Jesus allowed Himself to be hung on a cross to save mankind from sin. And while many people witnessed Him being executed, certain followers of Jesus became disheartened. They accepted the crucifixion as defeat. That Jesus was not the earthly king they previously understood Him to be. His closely knit companions abandon Him in fear. From His original intimate group of twelve, only John stood at the foot of Jesus as He hung to die.
It was not until the body of Jesus succumbed to earthly death by giving up His spirit that people, including many doubters watching at Calvary, began to understand something magnificent was happening. Even earth knew Jesus was the Son of God for it shook and its rocks split.
Matthew 27:51-54 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Upon His death Jesus descended to the the realm of the dead and preached to the ungodly.
1 Peter 3:18-20a For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
Jesus died on a cross, but three days later He arose! Jesus arose from the realm of the dead! Mark 16:9-20
Now a cross, through Jesus’ holy resurrection from the dead, turns into The Cross!
The Cross: a symbol of death and hope all at the same time, it represents redemption from sin and it’s a symbolic reference to both Jesus and Christians.
And those disciples who abandoned Jesus as He was to be crucified—Peter in particular—they came back! When they realized the power of The Cross, the resurrection of Christ, their lives were forever changed. In fact all but John lost their lives for sake of The Cross. They never abandoned Jesus again. A cross is itself not power, but The Cross is the means by which Jesus’ sacrificial death turns into eternal life for who believe in Him.
The Cross offers us Jesus’ love. A love so deep it remains unmatched.
It’s good to reflect upon Jesus’ sacrificial love so that we many remember all the love that The Cross offers:
- God’s mercy
- God’s grace
- conquers death
- mends broken hearts
- removes fear
- offers hope
- provides peace
- just to name a few. . .
As you enjoy a blessed Easter may you remember the meaning of The Cross.
ARE YOU A FOLLOWER OF JESUS?
If you’re not certain you’ve ever invited Jesus into your heart, now is the perfect time. Pray this sinner’s prayer found at Gotquestions.com. Through Jesus you will receive the hope that He alone offers.
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”