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His Side of the Cross (1 of 2)
Series: Both Sides of the Cross
Introduction: There are two sides to the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. Our side is shaded with sentiment and fondness. We sing of the Old Rugged Cross in glowing terms. We form jewelry from crosses and erect them atop churches. We place crosses on gravestones as symbols of hope and life. Everything about our side sounds positive.
That's understandable. Our faith is about what Jesus did on the cross in our behalf. It is the cross that Peter spoke of when he wrote, "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." (1 Pet. 3:18) The New Testament says the message of the cross is the power of God to those who are being saved. (1 Cor. 1:18)
But there is another side to the cross--a side that's not nearly as pretty. There is our side to the cross and then there is Jesus' side. What did the cross mean to him? I am convinced that unless we understand a bit of that we are not likely to understand what we can so lightly sing about.
Only in seeing Jesus' side of the cross will we understand the "so" in John 3:16. "For God SO loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." What's the big deal about that? So? The Bible says Jesus became obedient unto death, EVEN death on the cross. EVEN the cross! Listen to how John, one who personally witnessed the events of Jesus' death explains it, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!" (1 John 3:1) "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. " (1 John 3:16) "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:9-16).
But where can we go to find Jesus' side of the cross? The followers of Jesus provide only a sketch of the events of G ...
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