In this Good Friday Reflection Series, Bryant Choo reflects on what the Cross means to him. This Good Friday, let us meditate on what Christ has done for us and to grow ever deeper, nearer to the Cross of Jesus.
“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:3-9
To me, the Cross is the ultimate representation of God’s Glory – simultaneously an expression of both His Holiness and Love. Its message is that Jesus, fully God and fully Man, died for us while we were still dead in our sins to grant us life and reconciliation with God. Through the work of Jesus on the Cross, we are given Mercy, where we no longer have to bear the judgment of sin, and Grace, where we are given life we do not deserve. It is a work that Jesus had finished (John 19:30) and nothing we do can add to it – we can only humbly receive its fruits by Grace. However, the message of the Cross doesn’t just end in death. Instead the resurrection of Jesus is a constant reminder that death is not the end. Thus, the Cross for me is the representation of a true and living hope, an assurance of Salvation that is sure and unfailing. If I truly believe in Christ, then I know that no matter how I may stumble or struggle through life, God will continue to draw me to Him, growing me and refining me in my Faith in Him.
On reflecting what the Cross means to me, I grow ever cognizant of how I can grow so easily in knowledge and understanding of the Bible but not grasp its significance in my life. If I could gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding and intellectual stimulation from reading and learning about the Bible, I may gain some pride and satisfaction. However, unless this knowledge and understanding takes root in my life, pointing me back to the work of Christ on the Cross and growing me in my understanding of the depth of God’s Grace to me, then it is all for naught. Ultimately, the journey of a Christian is not a literary or intellectual endeavor, it is a spiritual one.
I think that as Christians, we can grow so accustomed to hearing about the Cross that we may sometimes think: “The Cross again?” John Knox Chamblin once said, “The Spirit does not take his pupils beyond the Cross, but ever more deeply into it.” The Cross of Jesus is the epitome of God’s Glory; the perfect expression of His Love, Mercy, and Grace; and a sure hope and assurance of the things to come. As a Christian, the Cross was where I began, where I currently am, and until I see Jesus face-to-face, where I may always strive to be. So yes, the Cross – again and again.