“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). And they crucified him” (Mark 15:22, 24).
God loves humankind with a love the depth, the cost, and the unselfishness of which I cannot fully grasp. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
It is said of Jesus Christ that he created all that was created. How do I put my mind around the Creator becoming the created? The Creator of all things, the Almighty One, lived in the weakness of the flesh. The power of all powers died seemingly powerless. We humans pursue power over others. I cannot comprehend such strength of love, such power, that is able to so completely sacrifice self. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8).
Father and Son gave themselves freely for me, a sinner, ungodly, an enemy of God. Christ died that I might be forgiven and reconciled to God. Through the crucified Christ I am now a holy child of God, godly in His sight, and at peace with God. “When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
When the tragedies and struggles of life have struck those I love, I remember Christ on the cross. When suffering and death strike the innocent, especially those I love, I remember Christ on the cross. When tragedies, struggles, suffering, and death challenge my faith, cause me to struggle with doubt, and tempt me to turn from God, I remember Christ on the cross. Christ died on the cross. The Beloved of God died on the cross. I remember. Remembering I know God’s love has not forsaken the suffering and dying child of God. God’s love has not forsaken me. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Jesus Christ dying on the cross gives me hope. Hope gives me joy. “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have no received reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11).