At the Cross looked at how the events of the crucifixion affected the people who were there. We also studied how the events of the cross should affect our lives as Christians in terms of our grace, our understanding of God’s love, our sense of responsibility, and our commitment to His work.
What does it mean to you to be closer to the cross? We often think about that question in terms of our relationship with Christ, and that’s a great way to think about it. But what about the people who were close to the cross at the crucifixion? Think of it this way: if you had been there two thousand years ago, why would you have been there? How would witnessing the events of the cross have affected you, and how should it affect all of us who wear the name of Christ?
In Luke 2:39-51, we can read about Jesus as a boy, staying behind in Jerusalem and speaking with the teachers and amazing those around Him with His understanding of God’s word. After Mary and Joseph bring Jesus home, we read that Mary kept these events in her heart. More than once, we read about Mary putting pieces together and keeping them in her heart. She was learning about her son as He grew, and she was seeing where He was going.
This effect was so strong that many remembered those feelings in Acts 2, when Peter preaches to those gathered around him. He preaches Christ’s divinity to them, and, when he reminds them of their own culpability in His death, the people cry out, “What must we do to be saved?” At that moment, everything comes together, and thousands come to Christ for forgiveness of sins. And Peter, instead of placing a curse on them and their children in the death of Christ, tells them that sacrifice brings hope to them and the generations to come. Jesus’ death turns a curse into life.
Over the course of this series about those close to the cross, we have reviewed four things that increase when we grow closer to the cross: our understanding of His love, our grace toward others, our commitment, and our responsibility. The closer we stay to the cross, the more our lives will look like His. Furthermore, the cross brings us forgiveness and ultimately salvation. It is the death that brings eternal life. We understand that there is victory in the cross.