Welcome back everyone! This is Holy Week, when all things are made new and He has risen. We’ve grown to know and love this seasonal Friday as “Good Friday” or as originally called “God’s Friday” by many Christians. Good Friday is also known as the dawn of the darkest day on earth, a dark and excruciating day on Mount Calvary.
The power of the cross represents Christ absorbing the wrath of our sin. With a crown of thorns piercing His head and blood stained brows, He was tried, falsely convicted as a criminal, dressed in rags, beaten and then nailed to a wooden cross because of our sins, bitter contemplation and actions.
Pontius Pilate said to Jesus, “Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
Jesus was slain by the ones He came to save. For that reason we must stand at the foot of the cross knowing we stand in forgiveness. Many of us see and feel the depths of His pain painted across Jesus’ face, bearing the weight of our sinful nature. He cried out “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit,” and then He died on a wooden cross. The dead are raised to life, therefore Jesus spoke into the wind: “It is Finished.” All the earth would hear the cry of this victory through a massive earthquake and an empty tomb three days later.
As daylight vanished, the religious leaders falsely accused Jesus and demanded He be put to death by sundown. The ground beneath them quaked as Jesus spoke “I am, and you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God’s right hand and coming back on the clouds of Heaven.” When asked if He was the King of the Jews, Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my followers would have fought to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.” It is written in His wounds and suffering that we have been made free. The Son of God sacrificed His life so that our lives would be ours to live and conquered through His self-sacrificing love.
I stand at the foot of the cross because He is my light, my strength, my spirit and where hope is found even in the darkest and stormiest corners of my life. I turn to the cross to calm my fears and my contention. The power of the cross fills the depths of me with peace and brings me comfort because it is when I stand at the foot of the cross I find myself enriched by the love of Christ.
The power of the cross is His gift of love and righteousness. The body of Jesus laid in the ground but on the third day the tomb was found empty. On that glorioius day, He had risen and returned to the clouds of Heaven to be with His Father.
God’s wrath against sinners was subsequently satisfied for every sin of man was forgiven. Sin would no longer have a grip on God’s children. No power in Hell, no guilt or shame, no scheme of man would have a grip on God’s children. Nothing can pluck God’s children from His hand. We are His and He is ours until He calls us home. It is through the precious blood of Jesus that we stand in the power of Christ in victory.
God Bless all in this joyous season,
Debra M. Pauli
NIV – Matthew 26:53-54, Mark 10:33-34, John 12:24-28, 18:11, 19:10-11