“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’“Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. – Acts 2:22-32
As we approach the celebration of Good Friday, we are reminded of the horror and the power and glory of the cross. Jesus was alone. He had come to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11 ) When He was being arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, we are told that “the disciples deserted him and fled.” (Matthew 26:56). The crowds who had so recently shouted, “Hosanna!” would soon shout, “Crucify him! … Crucify him!” (Matthew 21:9, 27:22–23) Now even His loyal twelve had left. And at last, we hear Him cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
Good Friday and the Easter Sunday that follows purchased eternal life for us. But what does it mean for you and me, right here, right now, in the difficult situations, locations, and relationships of everyday life? The same God who planned that the worst thing would be the best thing is your Father. He rules over every moment in your life, and He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us.
It is hard not to be awed by the cross. There is a line in the song by Michael Smith, “Here I am to Worship,” where it says, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” We will truly never know the magnitude of the grace and love of Jesus Christ. It’s going to take an eternity to know and grasp the fullness of Christ’s infinite love and grace towards us. Yes, we know Jesus is our Redeemer, but do we truly know the magnitude of the cost? I don’t think we can even ever come up with a figure or currency to match that price, and that price was paid for each of us.
John Piper said, “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”
- What is the hardest part of the cross for you to understand? Why?
- What can we do this week to better understand and appreciate the significance of the cross?