Consider the Cross
by Mary Kate Hipp
I have now claimed Christ as my personal Lord and Savior for over half of my life. I grew up in the church, heck, I was baptized in the Lytham Rd. sanctuary at seven months old! I have never known a time without the concept of Christianity. However, I think I only just now am understanding the gravity of the cross.
Having grown up in the church, the concept of crucifixion was normal to me. Oh yeah, the most gruesome form of execution? We wear its emblem--the cross--around our necks and tattoo them on our bodies in remembrance. When is the last time you paused and pondered the magnitude of the crucifixion of Christ? Or stopped and considered the macabre moment on calvary that your cross pendant signifies?
I personally had never deeply contemplated the cross until I played a woman at the foot of the cross in the UALC production of Tetelestai when I was a freshman in high school. Long story short, I found myself week after week at rehearsal reenacting the crucifixion. To place myself at the foot of the cross, watching as my friends slandered my Savior, and watched the Son cry out to the Father, forced me to realize the gravity of the Gospel. The panting in Jesus' breath, the ridicule and shame endured, the streaming blood, the mocking of His holiness.
Let us stop and consider this point Peter is making in 1 Peter 3:12-22.
Christ suffered and was crucified for our atonement once. Charles Spurgeon once stated that "the law of God was more vindicated by the death of Christ than it would have been had all transgressors been sent to hell. For the Son of God to suffer for sin was a more glorious establishment of the government of God, than for the whole race to suffer." Consider the magnitude of this: Christ's singular salvific act accomplished more than anything the entirety of humanity could have ever done. The presumable millions of sacrifices presented under the Old Covenant could never have accomplished as much as Christ did. The most beautiful part of Christ's suffering? Jesus died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only one in the world.
How then shall we respond to the cross? Well, most of us have! As Peter says, baptism is the humble act of reconciliation between us and God. It resembles the cleansing of our fallenness and acceptance of sanctification through Christ on calvary! Spend time today thinking about the work Christ has done in your life post-baptism. If you have yet to be baptized, consider where you stand under the cross. Whether you have been baptized or not, Christ is calling you to rejoice in His sacrifice.
*Picture taken after my rebaptism/rededication of baptismal vows in the Jordan River in May 2022 after I considered the magnitude of the cross in my life.
Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice. We praise You for the work that only You could accomplish. We rejoice in Your suffering. Guide us today as we consider the cross. Let us sit at the foot of the cross today. We welcome You, our savior, Jesus, into our lives today. Amen