When I think of the Cross, I think of suffering. Jesus suffered. He was bloody, weak and thirsty. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. He was mocked, jeered at, taunted. He was humiliated. Instead of being crowned in glory He was wearing a crown of thorns. Instead of hearing “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” He heard, “We have no other king but Caesar.”
When I think of the Cross, I think of love. It was His love for God and love for man that made Jesus succumb to the cruellest death imaginable. Love is the greatest sacrifice ever. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
When I think of the Cross, I think of forgiveness. In spite of the blinding pain in His body and the ache in His head, Jesus was able to forgive those who wanted Him dead. He forgave them and asked God to forgive them. In the face of hatred, love stood its ground. Love rose above the evil that surrounded the Cross. God’s goodness and mercy which endures forever were manifest in Christ’s words to His Father, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
When I think of the Cross, I think of God’s amazing grace and His mercy. It was mercy for a dying, sinful world that prompted God to send His Son to rescue us from death. It was His mercy that drove Him to send His Son to undo the work of Satan—to free us from the bondage of sin, to bind our wounds, heal us, mend our broken hearts and spirits and to lead us out of darkness and into His marvellous light.
When I think of the Cross I think of a place where I can come regularly and re-examine my life. It is where I come when I question or doubt God’s love for me. It is where I come when I need to be reminded of why I should witness to others. It is where I come when I want to reflect on the love of Jesus for me and for the world.
It is where I come when I need to forgive someone or when I am impressed to help someone I don’t get along with or to love someone who is unlovable. It is the place where I come when I have to die to self, when I need to crucify the flesh. It is the place we all need to come to.