Reason for the Cross
Rev. David Schmidt
February 1, 2021
In the month of February, we begin our journey through the season of Lent. It begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17 and continues all the way to the first week of April when we observer Jesus’ Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday, the institution of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, and the Crucifixion on Good Friday.
The cross is what all of Lent is leading up to. For us Christians, this event is always on our mind. Every time we see a cross, we know what that cross signifies. We know that was the instrument of death that killed our Lord. In our minds eye, we see the nails pierced through his hands and feet. We see the crown of thorns pushed into his head. We see the marks of the whips and the wound in his side from a Roman soldier’s spear. We carry the cross around with us every day of our lives as God’s people. Even as we remember the cross daily, the church has seen fit to remember the Crucifixion annually on the day known to us as Good Friday. On that day, the cross is front and center.
Even as we think about the events surrounding the cross, what is equally important is that we always remember the reason for the cross. The cross wasn’t the tragic end to one man’s failed mission, nor is the cross simply an example of sacrifice. It is the sacrifice – the once and for all sacrifice for you and for me. The Son of God died on that cross because you and I are sinners. Period. If we refuse to acknowledge who we are – that we are sinners, or if we downplay the severity of our sins, then we completely miss the point of the Crucifixion.
Lent reminds us that it was our sins that made the cross necessary. It also shows us what our Lord was willing to suffer so that you and I could be forgiven. In short, Lent makes it clear to us why we can call the day of Jesus’ crucifixion “Good” Friday.
While the Word of God daily reminds us that we are sinners saved by grace, Lent affords us an opportunity to take our sins as seriously as our Lord does. It is when we grow in our understanding of our sins, that we see God’s love for us shining through the cross.