“Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1b-2 (CSB)
On this Good Friday, let us remember the Cross was a brutal form of ancient torture so barbaric the Romans outlawed its use. It was like the electric chair or waterboarding… something only done to those who are the worst-of-the-worst of criminals. Like the electric chair, it’s goal was always death in a way that was shameful and painful; like waterboarding, it was only done to those who are not citizens but people who are considered great threats against the government.
Meanwhile, we have sterilized and gilded it as a piece of jewelry to wear around our necks. Perhaps your cross necklace truly draws you to remember the shame and torture Jesus endured for your salvation. But my gut says most of us have simply covered the cross with gold and made it into an ornament.
We don’t like considering the pain and torture Christ endured. It seems so barbaric and inhumane. But today, as we consider Christ’s sacrificial and atoning death on the cross, remember what he endured for you.
Take a few minutes to glimpse into the reality of crucifixion by meditating on The Horror of Crucifixion, which features a powerful audio clip which conveys the shame and terror that the cross would bring.
This Easter season, let the cross remain gritty. It was there that your sin and guilt and shame were removed – and replaced with purity and holiness and grace.