At the foot of the cross; is the means by which we live.
Where did I hear this quote? To be frank I have absolutely no idea. My memory does not serve me well at 18. Though I remember the deep set conviction and revelation in my heart finally realising how life—true life—in true abundance, in true purpose, true fullness and contentment is only found at the foot of the cross of Christ. ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10). ‘Yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life’ (John 5:40).
Let’s look at the cross of Christ and what was accomplished at Calvary over 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ died to bring salvation to mankind. As at the foot of a Holy God we aren’t much. In fact at the foot of a Holy God we aren’t anything at all. ‘As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one”’ (Romans 3:10). Our supposed human goodness nowhere near reaches the perfection and holiness of a loving God. The way that we are, the sin within us separates us from Him. Christ came so we could be reconciled to God, He died on a rugged cross so you could be free. So salvation could be offered to you—if only you would only trust and accept Him. We were created by God and for God; that emptiness within you can only be filled by Him and Christ made that possible.
That’s really the gospel in a nutshell. Have you ever truly looked at what Christ suffered for you. Have you ever truly been in awe of the sacrifice that the God of the heavens made for you? Do you know what the God of heaven suffered for you? God became man because man must take the punishment for sin. Isaiah 53, one of the most famous, yet profound passages of scripture gives us depth into the suffering of the Lord Jesus and what He endured for us. The weight of His suffering was so great due to the heavy weight of our sin.
Isaiah asks the question, ‘Who hath believed our report?’ (v1). He himself knew that the gospel message would not be easily accepted. The Israelites themselves walked away from the light they had—they rejected God’s grace and they did not believe. These men rejected Jesus, just like many will reject Jesus. He was rejected by the same people He came to die for, He was spat upon and beaten but yet on the cross He cried out, ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’
Jesus had nothing about Him that would have naturally drawn you to Him. You would think the God of heaven would choose to live an easy life. You would think Jesus would have made His time of earth as glamorous as possible—He was the Son of the God after all! Though that would not satisfy the wrath of God. The Son of God must suffer.
Jesus mainly lived His life ‘full of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (v3). Jesus was despised among many. He had nowhere to lay His head. He was opposed and menaced, worn and macerated with continual grief.
Being made sin for us, He underwent the punishment that our sin had subjected us to. Satisfying God’s wrath. He humbly submitted Himself and became humble unto death, bearing our sin until He cried, ‘It is finished.’ He underwent blow after blow and bore every beating for sinners. He had wounds and stripes and underwent a charge of which He was perfectly innocent. A crown of thorns was pressed upon His crown. He was nailed to a rugged Roman cross. His back resembled a ploughed field. The wrath of God was poured upon Him, God Himself could not look upon His Son as He hung there. Jesus Christ wept for those who did not know Him, for those who had no comforter.
He freely offered Himself to suffer, to die for you so you could be reconciled to God. So your sins could be forgiven. He could have resisted but He willingly gave Himself up for those who rejected Him and despised Him. The Lamb of God was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Look at what God did for you. Yet Isaiah describes how many would ‘hide their faces from him’ (v3). Looking upon the sufferings of Christ and turning our heads, having no concern of what was undertaken for you. Do you live your life like you have no concern for the cross of Christ? It was your sins and sorrows laid upon Christ. The natural sickness and disease of the human soul sent Him there.
His suffering brought hope. The greatest hope of all—salvation for mankind. ‘He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand’ (v10). Jesus Christ rose from the dead. This is the joy and hope that we can rest in. Death could not hold Him, He that was dead is dead no more. His seed of the gospel would be sown and many would believe on Him. Through Him we have a right to become a child of God, holy and blameless before the throne of God.
Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.
If you have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ, take a moment to think of what He did for you on the cross of Calvary. If you have trusted Jesus, praise the Lord for the sacrifice He made for you and the hope and life that you have; only through HIM!