I spent my morning with Jesus. I welled up in tears as He carried an instrument of execution on His back until He could walk no more. I stifled a cry and flinched as the nails were pounded into His open, surrendered hands. I wretched at the scent of blood from His gaping wounds.
He drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath to purchase my redemption.
As I closed my Bible and started getting dressed after sunrise, I thanked Him for His sacrificial love. He hung naked on a cross of shame to clothe me in righteousness.
My tongue cannot adequately transcribe such sacrificial love. I owe Him everything.
Examining the work of Jesus on the cross is emotionally exhausting. My heart grieves as I rehearse the salvation story: He was bound and wounded beyond recognition to ensure I’d walk whole and free.
Crying my eyes out as I contemplate the cross is cathartic. I wipe away tears and walk forward with more resolve.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to look to the cross for strength when we suffer:
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-2, MSG)
The watching world thought Jesus was a failure and a fluke, but my Champion shook off the shackles of sin and rose up from the grave to defeat death.
The cross is proof that Christ is the comeback king.
Maybe you are running ragged right now and could use a comeback of your own. I’d encourage you to sit at the feet of Jesus and apply His suffering as a salve to your soul.
7 Ways the Cross Encourages the Weary
Christ compassionately prays for sinners. His grace is greater than our ugliness.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice. (Luke 23:34, NLT).
Christ offers hope to the seeking heart. Confessing faith in Christ always leads to cleansing and confidence.
We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43)
Christ empathizes with your grief and positions you for encouragement and support.
When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Christ absorbed rejection in order to secure your approval. God never abandons His children.
At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Christ identifies with your hardship and suffering.
Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Christ always stands up for you and stays until the job is completed.
A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips. When Jesus had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:28)
Christ teaches us to depend on God’s deliverance. Trust your Father is faithful and will work wonders.
Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust My spirit into Your hands!” And with those words He breathed His last.
Keep your eyes firmly focused on the cross, and God will fortify you for the fight.
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I am sharing “7 Ways the Cross Encourages the Weary” and joining like-minded sisters at Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market Friday, Blessing Counters, Dance with Jesus, Heart Encouragement Thursday, Tune in Thursday, Chasing Community, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Porch Stories, Purposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, Tuesday Talk, and Dream Together, Moments of Hope.