Many people wear a cross because it symbolizes the Christian faith. But few fully grasp the depth of love that it represents.
The cross stands for what is arguably history’s most painful method of execution. Crucifixion usually began with two soldiers flogging the criminal from the front and back. They used a strap with three leather cords, each containing a piece of embedded bone that tore flesh to ribbons. No wonder Jesus fell and struggled to carry His cross after such treatment.
The soldiers then hammered a long square nail into the hands or wrists; this shape would heighten the already excruciating pain. Another nail was driven through the ankles into the wood. Raising the cross, executioners would then drop it into a hole in the ground; the thud from it falling into place would further tear the flesh. In order to breathe, the convicted man had to push up on his bloody ankles.
Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully man. He experienced the physical agony any human would feel at such brutality. On top of that, He felt emotional and spiritual anguish because the nation had rejected Him and His disciples had denied Him. Worst of all, when He took our sin upon Himself, the Father turned away (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21). Yet Jesus didn’t see Himself as a victim; He willingly offered His blood on our behalf and considered it a joy (Heb. 12:2). No greater love exists.
Stop to consider all Jesus endured on the cross for your sake. As you begin to grasp the enormity of His sacrifice, thank Him for His boundless love.