Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify Him!” (v. 22)
The gospel writer Matthew has narrated the events in chapter 27, as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). A modern analogy for this might be a heart transplant: one person lives because another dies. This physical analogy pictures the spiritual healing our loving and compassionate God made available to us.
The cross is saying that there is a ‘cruciform’ pattern to reality. Reality rather is filled with contradictions what Bonaventure and others called “the coincidence of opposites.” Bonaventure even found a sacred geometry in the symbol of the cross: “For the center is lost in a circle, and it cannot be found except by two lines crossing each other at a right angle.” In other words, some kind of suffering is the only way to reconcile differences.
Jesus was killed on the collision of cross-purposes, conflicting interests, and half-truths. The cross was the price Jesus paid on our behalf. The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8). Jesus willingly agreed to carry the mystery of suffering and not to demand perfection of creation. He taught, in effect, that it is the “only” way to be saved. We are indeed saved by the cross - much more than we realize.
Before we can justifiably delve into God’s Ways, we must stand firm in the faith that Jesus is the way to salvation: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life, the way into the love of God, the only way to salvation.
Friends, life is short, death is sure, hell is real, and Jesus saves!
Heavenly Father, thank you for punishing Your only Son to save these lost ones. Help us to lead a life with gratitude.
Thought for the day
“The Christian faith is meant to be lived moment by moment. It isn’t some broad, general outline - it’s a long walk with a real person. Details count: passing thoughts, small sacrifices, a few encouraging words, little acts of kindness, brief victories over nagging sins”
— Joni E. Tada
Orlando MTC, Florida