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March 2016

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Selfless Christ on the Cross

Written by , Posted in Blog, Your Church

The Bible records 7 statements made by Jesus on the cross. The first three spotlight his selfless nature.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

As blood flowed out of his body, forgiveness poured out of his heart. What would become of these murderers? What would become of the guilty? What would become of the soldiers who’d driven nails through his flesh?

They deserved hell, but he asked The Father to forgive them.

Who does this? Who longs for forgiveness to fall on his abusers, tormentors, persecutors? Who, even though he never needed forgiveness for himself, pleads for the forgiveness of the guilty?

Selfless Christ on the cross.

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).

As the screaming pain of crucifixion raced through his body, grace filled his heart. Each breath required him to lift his body. Each lift sent screaming pain down his arms and up his legs. Yet as death neared, he offered grace to the guilty.

The two thieves crucified next to him deserved their fate. One cursed Jesus, but the other saw Jesus for who he really was. He cried, “Jesus, please remember me.” Without hesitation, Jesus replied, “Today you’ll be with me in paradise.” Just like that! In one moment, the thief’s eternal destiny switched.

Who extends grace to the wretched? Who considers others, even as pain screams through their own body? Who doesn’t condemn years of sinful living before offering new life?

Selfless Christ on the cross.

“He said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother'” (John 19:26-27).

As the prolonged suffering intensified, so did his compassion for his mom. Oh the things Mary saw. Oh the things she felt.

Jesus asks John to give comfort and help to Mary. She would need it.

Who is concerned about the suffering of others, even when their own suffering cannot be matched? Who cares for the grieving, even in their final breaths?

Selfless Christ on the cross.

Our sin separated us from God. It created a chasm too wide to cross, a barrier too high to scale. The distance between God’s perfection and our imperfection can only be measured with the cross.

The cross of Jesus, God in human form, crushes the barrier between God and us. It provides a way for us to be forgiven and restored.

The selfless love of Christ’s cross moves us deeply. It moves us emotionally, but it also ought move us to action. If our Suffering Christ selflessly looked at others, especially those outside of God’s grace, how can we not look for the same people today? How can we not offer grace, forgiveness and compassion?

If Suffering Christ invited others into eternal life, how can we not offer invitations today?

“He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Selfless Christ on the cross. 

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