Let us look at the cross again. I would like to explore the true meaning of this cross of our Lord Jesus.
First, the cross symbolizes suffering itself. While on the cross, Jesus said in Matthew 27:46, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” - which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In verse 50, “when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.” Jesus was persecuted and died on the cross. Many people believed that death was the end and were discouraged. However, the death of Jesus was not the end. It was the beginning of the great work of God. Because we know Jesus was raised from the dead.
The second meaning of the cross gives us hope. We are destined to die because we are sinners, but we are given hope and new life through the cross upon which Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour died. Romans 3:23-24, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Even today, we need hope to survive. The hope we get through Christ. This hope is still the reason why we live and work for Christ.
The third meaning we get from this cross is that the cross leads us to salvation. Before Jesus died on the cross, he said in John 19:30, “It is finished.” Jesus was sent into this world was to save his people from their sins. Salvation began through the death of Jesus on the cross and was fully completed through his resurrection.
Matthew 27:51 certifies, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” In the holy temple of Israel, there was the place called “Holy of holies.” The high priest was only allowed to enter the sacred place once a year, through the curtain separating God and his people. According to the law of Moses, the Jews were supposed to give sacrificial offerings to God by killing animals for their own sins. However, our Lord Jesus sacrificed his life to save his people from their sins. Because of what our Lord did, we do not believe that we have to make sacrifices in the old ways. That is why Jesus said, “it is finished.” Hebrews 9:28 certifies, “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people.”
These three messages which we get from the cross have influenced many peoples’ lives for the past two thousand years. And, they still do so in our community, society, and nations.
In the process, we are called to do our best by sharing God’s love and grace with our family members, friends, and neighbours. 2 Timothy 4:2 says. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.” In my own life, I have tried to share the word of God with my friends, family members and neighbours, so that more people could accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.
The messages of the cross began a long time ago, but still changes us today and will help many people come to our Lord Jesus in the future. Believing the messages of the cross could give us suffering, but we also have hope and salvation through Christ. The messages of the cross tells us of the power of God. It is the Gospel, in Greek the word is euangelion(εὐαγγέλιον) and means the good news of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. The gospel is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This day, Good Friday tells us of the death and the end of Christ. It also tells us of the resurrection and the beginning of Christ.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook