Today is the celebration of Jesus' Resurrection! There is so much more to this story than Jesus dying on the cross for our sins because He loved us, and Him being buried and then rising from the dead and living today! I believe that it is also about forgiveness and a challenge for us as Christians to be more like Him in the way we live.
We get so angry because of the guards who beat Jesus and those who mocked Him. We get mad because Herod and Ceasar did not stand up for Him and let Him go. We let bitterness towards these people rise up in us because they beat Him as He carried the cross to Mt. Calvary. Yet, we do not acknowledge the fact that these people are sinners. They never believed in Him in the first place and if they did, obviously some of them did not want to get ridiculed by those who were beating Him. The question here is; Would you be that impacted by Jesus' death on the cross if all they did was nailed Him? Would you fully understand the significance to how much He loved us? Would you understand forgiveness in the way that Jesus' intended us to?
When He beared all the pain; the whipping, the crown of thorns, the mocking, being spat on, getting nailed to the cross, and then challenged, was to show that EVERY sin on Him was laid. Yet, He never said a word. He did not retalliate or tell them they were going straight to Hell. He looked on them with brokeness. Why should He do this for me or for you? The only reason given is because He loved us so much that He did not want to see us suffer the way He did. Imagine being one of the thieves on that cross, enduring not even half of the pain Jesus endured. One of the thieves were saved, Praise God! But the other mocked Him. Even while the thief was on the cross he was mocking Jesus. Still Jesus said nothing to stand up for Himself. The significance is SO much greater when you look at all the suffering and anguish He endured.
The point of forgiveness, in Luke 23:34, Jesus says "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Why should God forgive them? Why should any mercy be given to them? Well because, we at times are just like the soldiers. We gossip, lie, steal, hate, kill, make fun of people, etc. and He gives us the chance to be redeemed. We are no greater than those soldiers. We hold grudges against people instead of going to them and letting them know we were hurt, or that they did some kind of wrong to us, just like God commands us to. Instead of forgiveness we treat them just like the soldiers treated those who were sent to the cross for punishment. I have no right to be angry at those soldiers. I should be broken for them and hope that they realized who Jesus was and asked for forgiveness. Those who I feel have mistreated me should see Gods love through the way I approach, talk, act and how I treat them.
Why is the cross so powerful? It holds much more than our sins, it holds the savior of the world! It holds the one who taught us how to treat others, how to love and how to handle situations. The song that comes to mind is Chris Tomlins Mighty is the Power of the Cross. These are the lyrics:
What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?
Is the hooly cross
where the Lamb laid down His life
to lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross
What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father's love?
What can lead a wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones?
What can save and overcome?
Yes, Mighty is the Power of the Cross!! He is Risen and Lives for Eternity! Think of what He did for you and why! We are only made new through Him and only throught Him will we be able to go spend eternity with Him!