There is no success without struggle. There’s no win with a war. We can only appreciate all the resurrection means by first remembering the price that was paid at Calvary. This week we contemplate in order to celebrate. Take some time to let the immense truths of the cross steep into your soul. Then receive the reality of the resurrection. As you journey through these Devos invite others to read them as well. Or, read them out loud as a family, or with a group of friends. Feel free to pass the content along in your conversations.
“. . . they crucified Him. . . .” Mark 15:24
The sheer reality of these three words are raw in their simplicity. It’s the unblemished account of what happened. It requires no speculation, no interpretation and no theories. It’s the bare facts of the narrative. These three words have tremendous power.
The cross is not only a fact, it’s the central point of history. The cross transcends mere intellect. No one’s ever seen anything quite like this. The mind has never so much imagined or conceived what God has arranged for those who love Him.
The cross is a window into deeper truth. Those daring enough to take a long, deep look at the cross have seen behind it the truth about God and His creation. The cross is a revelation of God. Naked Jesus was compelled to bear the horizontal cross bar to the place of execution where His arms are tied, His hands nailed to the ends, then He was lifted up and fastened to a permanent upright post, a peg on the pole supported His weight while His ankles were tied and His feet nailed to the lower part.
On Golgotha we see more than the death of the best man the world has ever known. We see more than an inspiring story of selflessness. We see God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. While Jesus was dying, God was standing there behind the cross.
The cross is God’s judgment on sin. In the intense light which strikes the hilltop, we get a glimpse of what sin is and does. We see the nature and the result of sin which brought Jesus there – guilt, greed, pride, cut-throat ambition and spiritual darkness. The same evil impulses we see around us today. When we look at the cross, we see ourselves.
The cross is a way of living. We are commanded to take up the cross and follow Jesus. We are called to live a life of love and selfless dedication to the will of God. The goal of living as a disciple of Jesus is to mark the earth with the cross. This is the center of the truth for the Christian faith, that our lives are to leave an indelible mark of the cross.
"They crucified him" is balanced by three more words, “He has risen.” What had once looked like the final death blow of God’s plan of redemption, was the undoing of the enemy. He is risen, He's alive, death could not defeat Him. He has risen!
In what ways have you experienced His cross and resurrection?