Meditating on the Cross
Easter is quickly approaching and highly anticipated by most. It is a time of brightness, joy, and celebration. This is appropriate and God-honoring, since we celebrate the resurrection and exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is risen indeed! He is the first fruit of the resurrection. We will one day experience the resurrection, be like Him in holiness, and truly see and commune with Him. What a glorious day!
This year I want to encourage you not to rush to the empty tomb before appropriately meditating on the cross. I would submit our worship and adoration on Easter Sunday would be deepened and strengthened through the practice of prolonged reflection on the cross. Our Lord’s suffering and shame endured there was the greatest act of humility and submission ever observed in all of eternity. It was there at the cross where our Lord Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, (2 Corinthians 5:21). The way to glory goes through the cross. This was the way of the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and it is our way as well. Jesus Christ, our sinless messiah, suffered the wrath of God toward our sin. He died our death. His blood purchased our pardon (was the atoning sacrifice). We should keep the image and example of our Lord before us continually. He glorified His Father completely. He surrendered His will totally to the purposes of the Father.
I want challenge our church to meditate on the cross in a deliberate way during Passion Week, April 10-16. We will have a deliberate emphasis on the rejection of Christ by the Jews on Palm Sunday. I would encourage us to read the four gospels accounts of the sufferings of our Lord Monday-Thursday. If possible, I would encourage you to fast from lunch each day to meditate on of each account. If you follow this plan, you would read Matthew 27 on Monday, Mark 15 on Tuesday, Luke 23 on Wednesday, and John 18-19 on Thursday. Isaiah 53 would be a great bonus passage for Friday. Read the accounts at least twice, asking the Lord to impress upon your hear the depth of the sacrifice, love shown, and example of humility. Use a notebook to record your reflections and how each passage speaks you your heart. We will be holding a noontime service on Good Friday. We will observe the Lord’s Supper, read and sing about the cross. Please plan to attend and invite your neighbors. Let’s not rush to the resurrection without meditating on the cross this year!