The LORD God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
When you look at a cross, how do you feel? Sadness, shame, hope, thankfulness... or something else? For ancient Romans, a cross would have brought deep feelings of disgust, as it was a horrific object of torture.
But today - the Feast of the Holy Cross - calls us to rejoice in the cross. Whereas Good Friday is a day of lament and sorrow, today is a day of joy and gladness. The cross of Christ, as awful and terrible as it was, is also great and wonderful, for it brings redemption, forgiveness, and salvation.
In particular, when we look at the Cross of Christ, we should remember three glorious truths:
First, God loves with an incredible and eternal love. From the moment of creation, God shows great love towards humanity, and even when Adam and Eve sin, God promises salvation, hope, and healing. Indeed, He loved humanity so much that He sent His one and only Son into the world to die on our behalf. Even if you feel alone or undeserving, God sent His Son for you.
As you look at the cross of Christ, remember, God Loves.
Second, our Lord Jesus knows what it’s like to suffer. When we hurt, we want someone who can comfort us by saying, “I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there, and I’m here with you now. Don’t give up.” Jesus can say just that, because He has bled, suffered, and been betrayed. Whatever you’re going through, He gets it and is with you to comfort you.
As you look at the cross of Christ, remember, Jesus Understands.
Third, Christ has won a great victory for us through the cross. That might seem odd because we normally look at torture devices as symbols of defeat, punishment, and pain. The paradox of the Gospel, however, is that Jesus conquers by being captured; He sets us free by being imprisoned; and He brings life by dying. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has defeated the power of sin, demolished the sting of death, and secured for us the gift of eternal life.
As you look at the cross of Christ, remember, Jesus Wins.
So today, on this feast of the Holy Cross, let’s joyfully lift high the cross, by praising our Lord for all that He has done, and by proclaiming the great message of the cross to all those around us!