As we begin the Passion week, the shadow of the cross begins to take shape over us. We like to look ahead and focus on Easter, but the path to this great celebration goes through the cross and Good Friday. The cross was a sign of utter repulsiveness in the Roman world, yet now, we wear it around our neck? It makes sense that the first disciples did not understand. Who would have? I know I wouldn’t have.
When Christ is “lifted up” onto the cross in that great moment of humiliation, we discover that this moment is also the great moment of exaltation. For this suffering servant-king reigns from a cross, not from a throne. Isaiah surprised the world when he revealed this transforming view of suffering in the fourth Servant Song (Isa 53:13-53:12). From our human perspective, it’s upside down. We think that someone who is worthy of our adoration would be “lifted up” in power and might. So who really knows best? God does, for a crucified servant-king is the wisdom of God, even though it is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to the everyone else (1 Cor 1:23). This is why we preach Christ crucified. Worthy is he to receive all glory and honor and praise.
Prayer for today: “Perfect God, I bow my knee before the wisdom of the cross. The death of your spotless Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for my sins. It is of infinite value and worth, more than enough to cover not only mine but the sins of the whole world. Amen” (Seeking God’s Face).