Tomorrow is “Good Friday.” We call it “good,” because of the outcome of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. The result of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross is that the bondage of sin has been broken for every “believer” (one who makes a conscious decision to accept salvation in Jesus Christ.)
The cross was anything but “good” to people in Jesus’ day. We wear crosses as jewelry, it adorns steeples, it has become the most recognizable image of faith in Christ Jesus. No one in the first century would have considered using the cross as a representation of their faith. “Scholars believe that the first surviving public image of Jesus’ crucifixion was on the fifth-century wooden doors of the Basilica of Santa Sabina located on the Aventine Hill in Rome” (Steven Shisley). It took approximately 400 years for the cross to become an acceptable public image of devotion to Jesus.
Crucifixion was the most humiliating and torturous death imaginable. If you were a Roman citizen you were exempt from being put to death by crucifixion. The Romans did not originate crucifixion but they perfected it to produce the most extreme agony of any capital punishment. St. Augustine suggests that the purpose of crucifixion was to inflict as much pain as possible while prolonging death. To die on a cross was a slow and agonizing experience – sometimes lasting days. Crucifixion was also a public display by Rome to act as a deterrent to anyone considering challenging Roman rule.
Today as you consider pausing at noon to Bend-A-Knee in prayer may you focus on the crucifixion of Christ. He died for you! It was your sin & mine that put Him on the cross. May you recognize the sacrifice that was given on your behalf in order for the power of sin to be broken for every “believer.” God the Father was willing to break the community of the Trinity in order for the barrier of sin to be erased between you and Him. May you never forget what was done on your behalf at such a great cost. God’s wrath at sin and love for you collided at the cross. May you never look at an emblem of the cross without being impacted by the love that it represents.
Stay connected to God & to others