God Revealed in Jesus Christ on the Cross (Lent Series, Week 6)

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God Revealed in Jesus Christ on the Cross (Lent Series, Week 6)

Read Matthew 27:32-44

Jesus Christ is God. He is the incarnation – the assumption of human form and nature – of a loving, forgiving, selfless, and powerful God who reigns in heaven and desires all men to share eternity with him. These truths can be found in all of Scripture, in the lives of his followers, and in particular here: in Jesus on the cross.

“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” There’s some truth to this quote by James Lane Allen, an American novelist. If you want to see what people are really like, watch them when life is difficult, when they are in pain, when they are facing death. During the first century there was no greater physical adversity than Roman crucifixion. The role of Roman executioners was not to simply kill you; their role was to make dying a long and excruciatingly painful experience. Their goal was to make you wish you were dead, long before you actually were.

I don’t write this to hyperbolize. I write this to help you understand a kind of pain that very few people have experienced. It was the kind of adversity that rather than reveal your character, could create a new one. Torture will make the most loving and selfless person hate his enemy and experience and spew vitriol as deep and caustic as his pain. This is why the cross does not only lead to the death necessary to save us, but reveals to us the heart of the God who saves us.

Here are the words of Jesus, beaten and bloodied, uttered from the cross on which he died:

“Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)

 

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

 

“Dear woman, here is your son.” (John 19:26)

God not only preaches forgiveness, he gives it. God not only desires for all men to have eternal life, he grants it. God not only commands us to think of others first, he does it.

Hanging from a tree by his own bones, his skin and muscle ripped off his back, and thorns piercing his temples, the character of God was truly uncovered. And the criminal next to him who became the first beneficiary of the new covenant, spoke for all of us to hear, the even more miraculous truth of that painfully revealing event: “We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” (Luke 23:41)

Have you ever known a love like this? It is your sin that leads to death. It is my body that deserves ruthless pain and torture. It is your disobedience that flagrantly mocks the Holy God. It is my sinfulness that causes others pain and leads them astray. Yet it was HE – innocent Jesus – who was spit on, stripped, beaten, whipped, and hammered by stake to the splintered wood of a hastily cut tree. JESUS. Not you. Not me.

This is the character of God revealed in all his beauty. This is the God we serve. This is the God who has saved us and loved us.

Reflection

Read 1 Peter 2:24….“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

With the emphases I added, what does this verse say about our salvation? Who is responsible?

Check out the first post in our Lenten devotional here.

This was an excerpt from Easter is Coming, a Devotional Journey with Jesus. For all six weeks of Lent devotionals, please download the e-book here.

Spend some time expressing your gratitude to him – in prayer, song, art, written words – or any way you like.

About The Author
Chris Greer
Chris Greer
Hi y’all! My name is Christopher and I live in Costa Mesa, CA with my amazing wife, Kerry. I’m a writer and a Young Adult Pastor at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA. And this is how good God is: I was born in the greatest state in the Union (Texas!) and I now live, work, and write in one of the most beautiful places on the planet (Southern California!). Life is good. I am excited that you have found Trochia, a place online to be mentored through God’s grace and truth. God has used mentorship relationships to change my life. Keenan, my friend and former boss helped me to see that my work and relationships were about far more than just “getting the job done.” My current mentor, Stan, is a Christian author who has taught me that Christians (no matter what age) can be intellectually engaged with God and culture in a way that is current, fun, and makes disciples. And I’m forever thankful to God for my parents who are my most influential mentors in faith, marriage, family, and life. Without mentorship, I would not be the man I am. That is why mentorship, along with God’s calling for us to “make disciples” and “teach them to obey everything that [He] commanded” (Matthew 28:19-20), is part of everything I do as a writer and as a young adult pastor. I hope that Trochia will be a resource that helps you receive God’s grace and understand His truth, so that you can take one obedient step after another and mentor others along the way. Check out my two latest devotional books: Easter Is Coming and Christmas Is Coming, available through Amazon.com.
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