This week, starting with Palm Sunday, is a week that most Christians celebrate and commemorate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God.
As believers, we celebrate His great love for us; that He came and became a sacrifice to satisfy the demand for justice because of the act of sin. It is through this single man’s act of obedience, as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans, that whose who believe upon and trust by faith in Jesus Christ for salvation shall be saved.
While the Passover and resurrection season always makes the cross the focus and pinnacle of Jesus’ life, I want to look at the cross from the perspective of Christ Himself. This is not to diminish what He did, but rather, I want you to see His motivation so you can understand how that relates to Kingdom Living.
Many Christians look at the reasons why God would allow Jesus Christ to go to the cross as inherently being tied to an obligation. The truth is, the Bible tells us in Isaiah 53 that it pleased the Father to bruise the Son and allow His soul to become on offering for sin.
Why would God take joy in that? The answer is simple: love and His desire for us as His family.
When we look at the cross and the reasons why Jesus would willingly endure all of that sin’s cost demanded, there are perhaps no more direct words to sum this up than these:
Hebrews 12:2 (The Passion Translation): “We look away from the natural realm and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
I love this passage. It shows us that our faith in Christ is of His own orchestration, as is the perfection of our faith. We Christians overcomplicated with religion what can only be given and cultivated by the Spirit.
That wonderous thought aside, I want you to carefully notice why Jesus Christ did what He did: for the joy that was in front of Him. What is that joy? You and I!
I love how the Passion Translation puts it: He was focused on the joy of knowing we would be His beloved family.
Not only did Jesus conquer the cross and take our sins away, but he took away the guilt, condemnation and shame that sin brings.
The cross Jesus endured was simply a threshold through which we pass to enter into a new life found in Him alone, full of abundance and Kingdom purpose.
This is why, when we look at what Jesus Christ did, we not only see the deed, but the heart driving the man to do it. We can more fully appreciate His love for us and our value to Him.
The passage also helps us see the cross was never the final destination for Christ Himself, or for us as His family. Again, it was simply the entryway to become reunited to God, which was Jesus’ goal.
If we are to commemorate what Jesus did, then we need to be mindful of the entirety of what He did and why. As we celebrate, let’s not become fixated on the cross or atonement for sin, but see the full scope, give thanks and remember the opportunity to live a life worthy of Him.
Easter is the time when we must be most mindful of why we are called to live, be and do more than just attend church. We must try to understand all that the blood and sacrifice of Jesus has given us and not squander a life meant to achieve great things for His Kingdom.