At the Cross
I saw the small wooden cross on the side of the highway. Then I saw another. About fifty miles later, there was another. What did they mean? I was told that they marked the spot of some awful accident and were a reminder of someone who had lost their life.
There is another cross along the highway of life. It is the cross I see in the Bible. It too marks the spot where something awful happened, but what happened there was no accident. What happened there was planned from somewhere long ago in the determinate counsels of God. Like the little wooden and plastic crosses along the highway, this cross is also a warning and a witness to everyone who passes by. All who see it should pause and ponder.
Jesus uttered seven sayings from the cross that
speak to everyone who will slow down and listen. I learn more about life and
living in this single death than in all the words of all the world’s
1. (3rd hour) “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). Here we find a forgiveness.
2. “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” (Lk. 23:43) Here we find a faith.
3. “Behold thy son!” (Jn 19:26-27) Here we find a family.
4. (6th hour)”My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?”(Mt. 27:46) Here we find a fire..
5. “I Thirst” (Jn 19:28). Here we find a fountain.
6. “It is Finished” (Jn, 19:44). Here we find a finale.
7. “Into thy Hands I commend my spirit” (Lk. 23:46). Here we find a future.
1. Forgiveness. At the cross we can find forgiveness. It is the only place we can find it. Let the word go out far and wide to every sinner that there is a place they can find forgiveness. No sin is to dark, not act so outrageous that it cannot be forgiven if one comes to the right place. If the Roman soldiers could be forgiven for what they did by the very one who bore it all, anyone can be forgiven.
2. Faith. I find real faith, saving faith at the cross. The thief came to faith in Christ at the cross. While others derided him, and mocked him, and cursed him, this man believed in him and in his kingdom. Here is real, saving, and great faith. The disciples faith would wait for the resurrection, and even after that they needed proof. It was not so with the thief. He placed his faith in Christ. “Remember, me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
3. Family. I find a new family at the cross. Jesus pointed John to Mary and said “Behold, thy mother.” In another place Jesus said “who is my Mother or my brethren?” “Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” At the cross I became part of a new family.
4. Fire. The answer to Jesus’ question causes us to tremble. It was sin. It was my sin that caused God to forsake him. If my sin would cause such an awful thing to happen, I too must forsake the very sins Jesus died for. At the cross I must leave and forsake sin.
5. Fountain. During his ministry Jesus told his listeners that he was the water. No he thirsts. At the cross I see the fire of God’s judgment fall. It all fell on him, and that with a fury. He had told the woman at the well, that if she would ask him, he would give her living water and she would never thirst. Now he thirsts. This is what sin does. It dries out our soul and kills us.
6. Finish. “It is finished.” All that is necessary for our salvation is accomplished at the cross. There are no more I’s to be dotted or t’s to be crossed. No more paint needs to be applied to the canvas and no more pain needs to be inflicted. Jesus paid it all. When one crosses the finish line he stops running. Stop running.
7. Forever. Some people say, “When we die we are dead.” They say that death marks the end of it all. They are wrong. At the cross I learn that we will live somewhere forever. Jesus said, “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” When we die our spirit goes on. Either we give ourselves to God, either we commend our souls into the hands of God now, or our spirits go into eternity alone and without God forever.
What happened to the Lord Jesus on the cross was awful. Christ was there taking our place. He was paying for all our sins. It is the only safe place to hide. There the fire has already fallen- everything else is awaiting the coming judgment. To stand any other place is to stand with those who crucified Christ. Leave the ranks of sinners, "all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." Leave there too your sin. Cling to the Crucified by faith, trust him as the one believing thief and inherit God's Kingdom and life eternal.