“‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:24).

reflect

When I was a boy, my mom had a crucifix on her bedroom wall—a silver Jesus with outstretched arms attached to a 12-inch, wooden cross. Above His head was the inscription INRI.

My early perceptions of Jesus were formed by that crucifix and images of Jesus holding lambs or playing with kids in my Children’s Illustrated Bible.

Then one day I noticed Jesus was gone, though the cross was still on the wall.

“Where did Jesus go,” I asked my mom.

“I took him off,” she replied. “Jesus isn’t on that cross anymore. He’s alive.”

The silver Jesus ended up in a desk drawer somewhere.

Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore, but He did leave something there: Our sins.

Paul writes, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).

When Jesus died and rose again, He paid the price for all of our sins. He took them all.

Paul continues, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

Our sins are on the cross, covered by grace.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).

Our pride? It’s on the cross. Idolatry? It’s on the cross. Anger? On the cross. Sexual immorality? Addictions? Jealousy? They’re all on the cross.

Jesus’ blood covers it all.

I love the lyrics of George Bennard’s hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross”:

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged Cross

The emblem of suff’ring and shame

And I love that old Cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain

So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down

I will cling to the old rugged Cross

And exchange it some day for a crown.

react

>What comes to mind when you think of Jesus hanging on the cross?

>How has God’s grace changed your life?

>What sin do you struggle with? What can you do to crucify it daily?