John 12:32-33 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
In His final days before the cross, Jesus reminds us that every day is filled with both the woeful and the wonderful.
Nothing is more woeful than the cross. As the old hymn states, it is, “an emblem of suffering & shame”. Crucifixion was the most painful, public, and awful way to die. The Jewish historian Josephus called it, “the most wretched of deaths”. Not only were Romans not crucified, Cicero said that Roman citizens should not even speak of it because it was so vile. And, God was clear in Deuteronomy 21:23, “if a man…is put to death, and you hang him on a tree… a hanged man is cursed by God.”
When the early Christians decided to choose the symbol to represent our faith, starting with the church father Tertullian they chose the cross. Why would God’s people choose the most woeful symbol to remind them of Jesus Christ?
Because, on the cross God turned the most woeful thing in the most wonderful thing!
Jesus death brought us life!
Jesus condemnation brought us salvation!
Jesus separation brought us reconciliation!
In the middle, while Jesus was bleeding and dying and before He was rising and living, all was woeful. But, then everything became wonderful. In this we learn an incredibly important truth – when things are woeful keep trusting God and keep walking with God until the end. In the end, you can trust Jesus to make even the woeful wonderful!
What woeful thing in your life right now do you need to trust that God will one day make wonderful? How does the cross of Jesus give you faith and hope that Jesus life will be the same thing that God does in your life?