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What Does the Cross Mean to You?

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The Cross. The most pivotal symbol in history.

Through the years, people have questioned its validity, rejected it, hated it, ignored it, and burned it. Others have embraced its message and cherished it.

What does the cross mean to you?


Golgotha – The location of Jesus’ crucifixion in Israel

Around 500 B.C., the first cross pierced the landscape as it pierced the body. For centuries, it was a symbol of tragedy . . . suffering . . . punishment . . . shame.

In humiliation, criminals were forced to drag their instruments of execution along public roads. The cross on their back screamed to onlookers, “I’m guilty. I’m dirty. This cross is meant for people like me. I deserve this punishment.”

Crucifixions weren’t meant for high hills. Showcased along the sides of roads, agony was seen up close – and shame intensified.

As Jesus literally took up His cross, He didn’t bear His shame but ours. This perfect man literally became sin for us.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Sin. So natural for us. So brutally foreign to Him. Sin meant separation from the Father. The thought of it made him sweat blood. Luke 22:39-44


Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem by Lisa@TheWarmingHouse

Beaten and flogged mercilessly. Spit on and tortured. This perfect God-man’s body was already crushed and broken.

Then there were the wounds to His heart. Hated and rejected by those He came to save. His own disciple kissing Him in ultimate betrayal. One of his closest friends denying even knowing Him at all. The rest running for cover, leaving Him to bear His cross alone.

As He carried His cross, somewhere along the way He fell beneath its crushing weight. No strength left.

When Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest,” it comes from a Savior who wholeheartedly understands the struggles and sorrows that crush you. He gets it in a way you can’t imagine.

Jesus didn’t step away from His cross of suffering. He bore His, took it up, and went on His way all the way to Golgotha.

In the movie, the Passion of the Christ, the soldiers didn’t drag Jesus kicking and fighting and force Him onto His cross. He literally crawled up onto it. Laid His battered body down. Stretched out His arms to receive the nails. I imagine that’s how it was. My Jesus, laying Himself down for you and me. John 10:17-18

On the cross, our “Light of the World” and “Prince of Peace” endured abuse, oppression, torture, and every cruelty ever devised. Frustration, anxiety, despair, and discouragement consumed Him. He hungered spiritually and emotionally. He was overcome by fear, insecurity, heartache, and loneliness. He endured the most unjust and unfair treatment in the history of mankind. He did it for my good – and yours.

On the cross, we see a matchless demonstration of extravagant love. We see our God taking the punishment we deserve for sins He did not commit.

In the end, Christ changed everything. Without him, the cross would just be pieces of timber and we would be dead in our sin. Because of Him, the cross is a symbol of life and hope for all who believe in Him.

And He Himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2;24

So what does the cross mean to you? What about Jesus?

Just so you know, He is everything to me!


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One Comment

  1. Carey says:

    The cross points me to the tomb… because without the tomb being empty, the cross would mean nothing. I rejoice to know that not only did Jesus love us (and His Father) enough to die the death He did, but to overcome the penalty of our sin, death. That’s what gives us life and the ability (through the Spirit) to be more than we could ever be on our own. It’s the most amazing of miracles – the most incomprehensible, really.

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