John 19:18 (NASB) - There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
When someone was executed on a cross it meant prolonged suffering and agony. Crucifixion was the most agonizing, shameful, barbaric way to die.
Yet, the beloved Son of God willingly endured pain, torture and death in order that we may have life. So great was His love for all the world that He ignored the shame and allowed Himself to be nailed to that cross in our place.
The precious blood that dripped from the cross on that day long ago cleansed us from sin and healed us from the disease of death.
His final cry of "It is finished" is our freedom cry.
Death on a cross was so horrendous that even those who recorded Jesus' life for us did not describe it in detail, but simply wrote that they crucified Him.
We see crosses everywhere; on churches, on hillsides, along the highway, even as part of building designs.
Some, as then, look on them and scoff or turn away.
Those of us who are His own wear crosses as a sign of our devotion and our allegiance to Him.
The cross is a symbol to those who follow Him; a symbol of the pain, suffering and shame that should be ours except for the love of our Lord and Savior. It reminds us of all He endured in order that we may have life, hope, reconciliation and freedom.
His act of love is to be remembered and honored; not just on Easter when we celebrate His resurrection, but all year.
Whenever we see a cross we are reminded to humbly thank Him for taking our place and praise Him for who He is.