Sometimes we can look upon the cross as the source of Jesus’ suffering and the shame of humanity in that we put the Son of God to death in such a terrible manner. However, there are other sides to the cross that we can focus our attention as well. I want to reflect briefly upon the cross of Christ as the source of power we have been given to overcome the evil one and sin in our lives.

 

Jesus’ death on the cross brought a definitive end to the reign of evil and sin in the world. Once and for all time, Jesus put the power of sin to death and at the same time invites us to share in His victory by taking up the crosses we have to bear in our lives and uniting them with His own. In this way He can bring to bear the victory He won personally on our lives. The cross is not just some sort of abstract concept that has its roots in an historical event nearly 2000 years ago. The power and victory of the cross is here, present in our lives, to the degree that we embrace the life of discipleship to which we are called by Christ.

 

The cross of Jesus does not stand apart from history as forever expressing the shame of the human race. No! Jesus, out of His great love for us, has chosen to apply its merits to our lives so that we will be made worthy to stand in the presence of God. This is possible because His offering of himself to the Father as the perfect sacrifice that takes away the sins of all people, is something that we are called to share in from the point of view of both receiving its merits and contributing to its actualization in the lives of the people of God. As we live according to the fruit of eternal life won for us through the cross of Jesus, we witness to its ongoing power in our lives and thus call others to share in its saving grace.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that we do not fully embrace the power that God offers us through the cross as we are still living in sin to one degree or another. If we embrace the cross fully; if we unite ourselves fully to the Jesus in His sacrifice to the Father, we would not sin anymore because not only would we realize the immense offence our sins are to the all holy God, we would be so inspired and galvanized into action that we would not even consider the possibility of sinning anymore! Let us pray that we will grow in this understanding and offering of ourselves to the Father in union with the offering of Christ.

 

Do I fully appreciate and appropriate the grace of the cross of Jesus in my life?

 

Holy Spirit, lead me into the truth of the cross of Jesus so that I will more fully live under its power and thus witness its power to others through my life. Lead me deeper into a life of sacrifice and love in imitation of Jesus Christ.