the Cross

Today, we are turned toward the cross. No matter how I view the cross, I am reminded that it was my disobedience, my pride, my selfishness, my insecurity, my shortcomings that put Jesus there. I read of the 'trial' and the crowd. I read of the soldiers, the mocking, the torture, the crown of thorns. As I try to imagine the pain Jesus must have felt, I am reminded that it wasn't just the soldiers and the crowd - it was me. This story isn't a distant story, unconnected to my life - this is intricately connected to who I am. I cannot view the cross without thinking of my sin.
And I am also overcome with emotion, with the realization of how far-reaching God's grace is. I am reminded that Christ's body was broken for me. I am reminded that the blood He shed covers my shame and guilt, my sin. I am reminded that I have been made clean by the sacrifice of Christ. This is nothing I have done - I do not deserve that which I have received. It is only by the cross that I am forgiven, that I am made new, that I am adopted into God's family.
Years ago, I had a friend who shared his 'life verse' with me. This was the passage that served as foundational to his life. A couple of years ago (I'm a little slow) I found a verse that I wanted to own. As I read today's passage, I found myself coming back to my life verse.
"For I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the One who loved me and gave His life for me." It is found in Galatians.

I wonder what thoughts you had reading of the crucifixion. And do you have a life verse? If so, I'd love to hear it.


  1. The Cross in many respects in today’s culture has become a symbol that has fallen somewhat into the category of a euphemism for “spirituality”. We see many celebrities wearing them some certainly sincerely as a testimony to their belief, many as a signature of “cool”. For me it is the beginning of the end; the end of religiosity of the old covenant and the rituals that were its accompaniment and the termination of the old law which required (amongst many other things) strict adherence to dietary and other related practices of “cleanliness/holiness”. The literal tearing of the temple curtain ushered in the new covenant of grace, the release of the old law-dominated religion for the freedom of grace and mercy and sustenance by Christ himself. This is enormously powerful in and of itself, but the story is incomplete without the resurrection. As much as the cross is the symbol of the unimaginable sacrifice of God incarnate for human kind, the story is only divinely complete with the risen Jesus coming forth on the third day. The hope of the New Covenant brings with it a fresh realization that God is personal and real and desires relationship. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the joy of Jesus Christ resurrected.

    Matt, as to a life verse, I don’t know that I have ever really labeled this particular scripture a life verse for me, but it has continued to be spoken to me in many ways (literally and figuratively) during my life: Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.“

    When I dwell on the word “fix” it suggests a focus that is the singular backdrop to all of life. Fixing eyes upon Christ brings the God centered perspective that I need daily.

  2. I liked my Bible's note about v 21. "Faced with a clear choice, the people chose Barabbas, a revolutionary and murderer, over the Son of God. Faced with the same choice today, people are still choosing "Barabbas". They would rather have the tangible force of human power than the salvation offered by the Son of God."
    Sound familiar?!?