I love a good mystery. My favorite mystery writer is Mary Higgins Clark, and I’ve managed to collect all but a few of her entire works. But the greatest mystery ever told is why God chose to redeem mankind through Christ’s death on the cross. This week we’ll explore the mystery of the cross – foolishness to the unsaved but the power of God to those who claim Him as Lord and Savior (I Cor. 1:18).
What the Cross Tells Us about Jesus
For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.
Mark 10:44, HCSB
Jesus said the words in today’s Dose verse. He knew he came to earth to die. But first, he would show us what God is like. After all, He and God were One! The picture Jesus painted of God was that of a servant. Healing, teaching, comforting, washing feet, even correcting – I like those images.
In truth, I don’t like the image of Jesus dying on the cross. I would rather see the one of Him emerging from the tomb on Easter Sunday morning. But Jesus as servant is also Jesus as suffering servant. He came to die, so that we might live.
What does the cross tell us about Jesus? First, Jesus’ motive was love. If God is love, and Jesus is God, then Jesus is love, as well. His most significant act of love was His death on the cross—not for His benefit but for ours. Paul said,
“Walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.”
Second, Jesus had a choice. He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him from that tree, but instead He chose death. That’s why His death is called a sacrifice and not a murder or a killing. Jesus gave all He had voluntarily! Third, He was obedient to His Father (Phil. 2:8). Jesus left heaven, giving up His royalty and equality with God, to humble Himself as a mere human. In the garden, He prayed, “Not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39).
Fourth, Jesus was leaving us an example. Peter said we are to walk in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21). That’s great, right? I’d love to visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked. Unfortunately, that’s not what Peter meant. Peter said Jesus’ example was as a suffering servant. That means we will suffer for our faith, also. “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called” (I Pet. 2:20-21).
Following Christ’s example means being a living sacrifice, pleasing to God in all things. If we are not willing to make that commitment, then we are not followers of Jesus. Have you asked Him to be more than your Savior, the One who paid the ransom for your sins? Let Him be your Lord—master of everything.
Following Christ, who followed His Father,