Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2
The Cross is undoubtedly the most recognizable symbol of Christianity. The Cross is commonly spotted in everyday life around the world. When it is seen, we may think we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, or do we? The Cross stands atop steeples, it’s found in cemeteries, it’s flown the flags of nations and movements, and it adorns our necks. You can find it at protests, concerts and sporting events alike. It brings great hope for some and deep hurt for others. It is used as a rally point to serve as a healing balm and as a bludgeon. In all of these ways that Christians honor and remember the Cross, one thing is commonly lost: the Cross is as Brutal as it is Beautiful.
It should not be a surprise that the Cross is seen through multiple and contrasting lenses. The fact that it invokes a myriad of emotions is evidence that the Cross is the exact point of mankind’s ultimate juxtaposition. The Cross is the point where man’s brokenness and wickedness fully experience the goodness of God.
From before the first hour (6am) until the ninth hour (3pm), Jesus was beaten, broken, taunted, spat upon, whipped and bled (Isaiah 53:4-5, Luke 22:63-65). Then he was nailed to the Cross that He was too weak to carry (Matthew 27:32) and hoisted into the air between two thieves to hang until He suffocated (Luke 23:32-33). Then the taunting continued, He was mocked as “King of the Jews” and ridiculed for “being God”, “for he could save others, but he cannot save himself (Matthew 27:39-44, Luke 23:38-39). He was stabbed in the side because the Roman’s state of the art method for efficient torture and death was, well, just taking too long that day. But then at the ninth hour (He committed his spirit into the hands of the Father and died.
Contrast that with the fight that was going in the unseen spiritual realm. For Jesus, the brutality that was physically observable by man pales in comparison to the anguish His Victory took on him. He took on the sins of the world, past, present and future, and endured the ultimate pain of being forsaken and separated from His Father when He cried out “Father why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46). And yet for the joy set before Him he endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). And this my friends, my fellow Kingdom Men, is where the only beauty in the Cross resides. This is where we find our Victory!
Kingdom Men, we must therefore, see the brutality and beauty in the Cross. We must see and know the physical pain that it brought to Jesus and may now bring to our fellow sojourners (believers and non-believers alike). We must recognize the brutality and not add to it. We are Victorious! We must represent hope and not hurt, healing and not a bludgeon. Jesus took all of the whips, all of the taunts and all of the indignities. There are no lashes for us to give for the cause of Christ. Ours is to love and lead in victory. We are Kingdom Men. We are created for victory. We are created by God to bear His image and we are sealed by the Cross. “IT IS FINISHED!” That is what this brutal and beautiful symbol claims for us.
DAILY BATTLE ORDER: Kingdom Men, walk in victory today. Reflect on the brutality and beauty of the Cross. Share your thoughts with your Wingman and your family. Dive into the scriptures. Let God bring you to the foot of the Cross as an eyewitness. Then take time to watch man’s best effort unveiled in the movie “The Passion of the Christ”. Embrace the brutality and the beauty so that you can walk in the Victory!
Kingdom Men: The Joshua Commission invites you to join us for spiritual warfare battlefield training on the Chickamauga Battlefields; Friday- Sunday, April 9-11 2021.