When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Luke 23:23
At the heart of the city of London is Charing Cross. All distances across the city are measured from its central point. Locals refer to it simply as “the cross.” One day a child became lost in the bustling metropolis. A city police officer (A “bobby,” as they are referred to in London) came to the child’s aid to try and help him return to his family. The bobby asked the child a variety of questions in an attempt to discover where the boy lived, to no avail. Finally, with tears streaming down the boy’s face, he said, “If you will take me to the cross, I think I can find my way from there.” What an apt description of the Christian life. The cross is both the starting place of our new life in Christ, but also the place we must return to, time and again, to keep our bearings in life. Stuart Strachan Jr.
Good Friday is one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar. It commemorates the suffering and death of Jesus at Calvary. The death of Jesus is central to God’s salvation plan for humanity. Jesus died for our sins so we would not have to incur the wrath of a righteous God. Our Lord willingly sacrificed His life for our sins (1 John 1:10) so we can have the right to eternal life.
Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday and Great Friday. Indeed, the death of Jesus is the greatest act of divine love poured out to humanity from a benevolent and merciful God. At the cross, Jesus paved the way for humanity to find its way back to its creator. The cross is the starting place of our new life in Christ. The cross is a symbol of redemption. It reminds us that sin has been conquered, death is defeated, and our eternal life is guaranteed.
It was at the cross where Jesus purchased our salvation and paid a price of blood for our redemption. At the cross, hopelessness, despair, generational curses, all forms of addiction and deception, the lies of the enemy, and all forms of negative fear and destructive anxiety were crucified. The purpose of the cross was to help us keep our spiritual bearings and return to a relationship of loving union with God.
Without the cross, there is no resurrection; and without the resurrection, humanity is like a damaged ship aimless drifting toward eternal meaninglessness and spiritual condemnation. Whenever we are tempted to forget how much God loves us, we should remember the cross. When the enemy wants to remind us of our failures; when our checkered past is stifling our present walk with God, we should remember the cross.
The cross was a symbol of shame during Roman times. Yet it became an emblem of spiritual restoration and emancipation because of the Jesus that was nailed on it. Indeed, in and of itself a cross is meaningless. Throughout human history, crosses were used for evil purposes in some cultures. But because Jesus redeemed the cross with His blood, I am a proud cross-carrying and cross-wearing disciple of Jesus Christ. The devil has been trying to hijack the cross and has made many Christians reject the cross. But I know too much about Jesus and the Bible to discard and disavow the cross.
Today is Good Friday because our redeemer was crucified on an old rugged cross. The Christian faith was born at the cross. Therefore, I am not ashamed of the gospel which proclaims a crucified Christ. “At the cross streams of grace flows deep and wide. All the love I've ever found comes flowing down like a flood. At the cross, I surrender my life, and sin and shame are powerless. At the cross, my heart has peace with God” (“At The Cross” by Chris Tomlin).
Questions for Personal Reflection
What does the Cross mean to you?
Why do you think Jesus had to die on a cross?
Prayer- Blessed Redeemer, I thank you for dying on an old, rugged cross for me. Thank you for paying a price you did not owe so I may have the right relationship with the Father. When the enemy tries to make me doubt your love for me, remind me of the cross. As I celebrate Holy Week, I don’t want to forget the purpose of the cross. Please help me to return to the cross times and times again to find my spiritual bearing when I feel lost and forsaken.