Devotional: Day 11
John 12:32- And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples unto myself.
Jesus spoke to His disciples many times about His coming death on the Cross. Here in John 12:32 we read why it was important for Jesus to die like He did. Even in the agony of execution, His compassion for you and me far out weighted His own well-being.
The Cross is a turning point in history.
Without the Cross, there would be no salvation. Without the Cross we would still be lost in sin, constrained by a law that we cannot keep as creatures of this world. Everything we have today as children of God, we have because of the work done through the Cross.
Jesus had to die to save us. He knew that the ultimate sacrifice of self was the only thing that could defeat the power of sin and death in our lives.
And so, knowing full well everything that he was taking upon Himself, Jesus came to earth and laid down His life for ours. He took our place on the Cross. He understood that without blood atonement there could be no relationship with the Father. Furthermore, knowing that no one here on this planet could ever offer that atonement, He offered Himself.
As He was lifted up that day, over 2000 years ago, imagine what it was like. Here was a man that just days before the whole of Jerusalem had hailed as the coming king. Here was a man who had walked about telling stories about the Kingdom of God in ways that every person could understand. Here was a man who, through just a word, could cause the dead to be brought back to life.
Here was a man who, as He laid down on his wooden deathbed, offered His hands and feet to His executioners. Here was a man who, as He hung upon that tree and bleed for our salvation, had a sign hung above His head in mockery and jest that proclaimed Him to the nations. It read “King of the Jews.”
Here was a man who, through no fault of His own was tortured and killed so that someone else wouldn’t have to be. That someone else is you. That someone else is me.
Yes, it is possible that many people who saw Jesus die that day saw nothing special. They just saw a man punished like every other criminal. But I imagine that there were others that day that saw Him hang on that Cross and were indeed drawn to it, just like we are today.
The Cross itself didn’t save us, it is just a symbol. It signifies the work that was completed by a man who knew that in order to save a man’s life; all He had to do was lay His down.