Articles & News

Look at the Cross

March 22, 2019 cross in forest

April article imageby Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Christ was on the cross for six hours, hanging between heaven and earth from nine o’clock in the morning until three o’clock in the afternoon.

In the first three hours, man did his worst. He heaped ridicule and insult upon Him, spit upon Him, nailed Him without mercy to the cruel cross, and then sat down to watch Him die. At twelve o’clock noon, after Jesus had hung there for three hours in agony, God drew a veil over the sun and darkness covered that scene, shutting out from human eye the transaction between the Father and the Son. Christ became the sacrifice for the sin of the world. God made His Son’s soul an offering for sin. Christ Jesus was treated as sin, for we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that He was made sin for us—Him who knew no sin.

Why did He do it? He did it because He loves you. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. God made the soul of Jesus Christ an offering for your sin!

If you want to know if God hates sin, look at the cross. If you want to know if God will punish sin, look at the Beloved of His heart enduring the tortures of its penalty. That cross became an altar where we behold the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world. He was dying for somebody else—He was dying for you and me.

God has a remedy for every sin, except the sin of rejecting the Remedy: His Son.  –J. Vernon McGee

My friend, if God didn’t spare His own Son, what do you expect at the hands of God when you stand before Him someday? The writer to the Hebrews asks the question, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation …?” (Hebrews 2:3). Do you think you can escape? There is no way, because Christ has taken the only route and has paid the tremendous price that you and I might be saved.

The cross is not an ambulance sent to a wreck. It is not first aid. It is not a temporary arrangement. The Lord Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). And when you look into eternity you see what John describes: “… behold, in the midst of the throne … stood a Lamb as though it had been slain …” (Revelation 5:6). Scripture tells us that He sat down at God’s right hand, and do you know why? For the same reason God rested on the seventh day after He had created the heavens and the earth. He wasn’t tired—He sat down because He had finished the job.

When Jesus went back to heaven, He had finished everything that was necessary for your salvation and mine. Everything.

Download "The Radical Cost of the Cross: What Jesus Really Paid for Your Salvation"

My Turn

What the Cross Means to Me

On our soil, the cross may look like a symbol of injustice and suffering—a good life cut short. But to you who believe, the cross of Jesus is precious because of what it means. It will take a million years or more to understand, but we can begin here and now.

Ask the Lord to show you, What does Your cross mean to me?  

Here are a few thoughts to get you thinking.

  1. Every time I take my sin lightly, remind me what the cross cost You.
  2. Every time I carry my own burden, remind me that Your cross is my rescue.
  3. If I refuse to accept Your forgiveness and carry my guilt instead, remind me why the cross was the only way to God.
  4. If I fear I’ve gone too far to be saved and doubt if you can keep me saved, remind me of the safety of Your cross.
  5. And on that day when every knee bows and every tongue confesses You are Lord, Jesus, I won’t hide my eyes from Your scars.

Which statement above made you pause and think about personally?