The Cross of Calvary can be viewed in so many different ways. The intention of the Cross was to put a life down. Every aspect of the Cross was humiliating. It was a curse to be hung on a tree. (Deuteronomy 21:23) Every part of the crucifixion was intended to be negative. I can barely stomach watching the scenes of the crucifixion in movies. The horror of it all bothers me.
When I look at the Cross, as negative as the intention of it was, the results of it were completely positive. In a simple way, I’ve never looked at the Cross as a minus sign, but as a plus sign. The Cross was horrific for Jesus, but it was a blessing for us. I believe that was what the writer of Hebrews had in mind when he wrote,
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2).
It wasn’t in the pain of the Cross that would bring Him joy! It was in what the cross was going to provide for each of us, a chance of salvation and relationship with Him! It wasthrough the Cross that our penalty would be paid. Jesus paid the price through pain, a price we did not have to endure. Now that the penalty has been removed, we can come into relationship.
Look at what you would still have to carry had it not been for the Cross of Calvary. How do we know what we would be carrying? Look at what Jesus carried TO the Cross. He not only carried the Cross, but He carried so much more to Calvary.
Here’s what Isaiah said that He carried to the Cross…
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
He carried our weaknesses, our sorrows, our sickness and the sins of us all. Think on that for a moment. Someone else carried your weaknesses, someone else carried your sorrow, someone else was punished for things that you did, and then someone else was billed for the treatment you received for the disease you had. That sounds like a pretty good deal! All you have to do is believe in and on the Person that did that for us; however, it doesn’t end there. That’s just a few of the things that are taken out of my life. If it ended there, it would be a minus sign. Remember, the Cross is a plus sign! The writer of Hebrews conjures this thought up of what was added to us by The Cross of Calvary…
6 But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
This new way is so much better than the old way! The old way, before the cross, was about your sacrifice and obedience to the rules, regulations and requirements. Everything was dependent upon your success or failure of keeping the unkeepable. The new way that the Cross provided was dependent upon the success of Jesus. He, stated it was finished, completed, and then brought back keys that showed the victory was in His hand. In Jeremiah 31, it speaks to us that this new way wouldn’t be written on stones like the old way, but it would now be written upon our hearts. It would no longer be about the external, but rather the internal. Meaning that everything God would require out of us, His grace put into us!
The old way produced death, but the new way produces right standing before God. The old way produced an inaccurate view or veiled view of God, the new way,although still veiled, gives you a more accurate view of God. (2 Corinthians 3:6-13)
Before my sin was stirred up and used against me, it produced within me wrath. I was condemned and living in bondage. Jesus carried all of that away, and now I have forgiveness, liberty, mercy, faith, truth and life more abundantly. (Further study: Romans 8:2,12; Romans 3:24, Romans 10:6-10; Romans 11:27; John 14:6;
2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 5:1)
For everything that He took off me and cleaned out of me, He placed and provided something so much better to take its place.
I once carried a yoke of guilt and condemnation. Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I may still have a yoke, but it isn’t heavy and it isn’t a burden. The Cross took away everything that caused me to be down, and brought me up to a higher level of living. The Cross will always lead you up!