Have you ever collided with someone or been in a car accident? The force of impact can change a trajectory. Newton's third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The Cross is the place where Heaven and Hell seemed to collide. And the Cross of Jesus Christ is where we discover that in the Kingdom realm, reactions are not equal. A response from Heaven will far surpass the impact of hell and shake the world's very foundations.
As we pause to remember Christ's death and resurrection, I invite you to step back into time and join in the journey to the Cross, through the Cross. I ask you to allow the Holy Spirit to speak deep into the core of your being and draw you close to Jesus as the action unfolds.
We must step back further into the story to grasp the full understanding of what was accomplished. At the Cross, there was a collision, but things had been set in motion long before that day at Golgotha. It all started, in a place of beauty, in the Garden of Eden.
It was in the Garden where Satan slithered in and brought deception. It was there that Adam and Eve forfeited the perfect life. At that moment, the journey to the Cross began as God declared that "He (Jesus) will crush your head and you (Satan) will strike at his heel" (Genesis 3:15).
In this moment of pain, God had a plan. He knew we needed a savior, and the journey to the Cross began. He loved these people He had created with such an intensity that He was willing to make a way back to Him for them. Can you feel the shaking in the garden as the first sin and the love of God collided?
We quickly move forward to the days before Jesus experiences the Cross. The Gospels (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19) tell us about the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Many in the crowd were throwing down palm branches, spreading their cloaks under the donkey's hooves, and crying, shouting "Hosanna" and declaring Him to be the Son of God. If you were part of this crowd, what would you be feeling? Would you be filled with awe, wonder, and excitement? Or would you be standing on the sidelines thinking everyone had gone crazy?
Journey next to the last supper (Matthew 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-38) and look around. What are you feeling? What questions do you want to ask Jesus? What is your response as Jesus bends down to wash your feet? Can you accept that action, or do you question it like Peter? As you see Judas leave the room, are you confused?
We quickly find ourselves in a different garden. The Garden of Eden was full of beauty and walking with God. However, the Garden of Gethsemane is a place of deep betrayal. Judas, a disciple of Jesus, who had witnessed miracles, was about to add "betray the Son of God" to his resume. And then the soldiers arrest Jesus.
Before an earthquake, there are often "foreshocks." They warn that something more significant is looming and heading in your direction. At this moment, we determine if we will fight or take flight. As you step into this moment with Jesus, the temptation is to run away. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal times when you have run away rather than staying the course. Pause to ask for forgiveness and the strength to stay the course.
The Sanhedrin begins to gather. The Sanhedrin could be called the supreme court of the Jewish community and included the high priest. The sitting high priest of the time was Caiaphas. When he asked Jesus if He is the Son of God, Jesus identifies Himself as such. The plot thickens, the foreshocks increase, and the accusations multiply that says Jesus is worthy of death.
Seeing someone tortured is difficult for most people. What is your response as you see Jesus spit upon, beaten, slapped, and stripped of his clothing? Remember, you do not know the end of the story; there is so much that Jesus has said that does not make sense. The Messiah was to be a king that would save you, yet this man you have followed is quiet and endures each painful lash from the whip.
I must wonder where I would be at this moment. Would I be shouting for more torture or for it to stop? How about you? Would you join in with the crowd as Pilate asks the crowd, “who do you want to be released?” Would you be shouting for Jesus or Barabbas?
Do not rush past this question. This crowd had quickly gone from shouting Hosanna and declaring Jesus as the Son of God to screaming for his crucifixion. How easily we can become swayed by the crowd rather than swayed by our Savior.
Jesus was not surprised by any of this. He stepped into this moment seeing through it and past it. Hebrews 12:2 gives us a glimpse into how we can stay with Him and how he endured for us. "We look away from the natural realm, and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith's perfection. His example is this: Because Jesus’ heart focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the Cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God". (TPT).
He knew that He was not enduring His punishment but ours with each beating. With each crack
of the whip that shredded his back, He knew that He was paving the way for healing for us.
With each painful step, carrying all the sins of humankind from Adam and Eve in the garden to the ones who shouted crucify, to you and to me, He knew that He would have many descendants. He could see His bride.
However, all that led to the Cross. As we step into that moment, the world becomes dark just like the sky darkens before a severe storm, the world was waiting. It could feel the major clash between good and evil. The battle lines were drawn, and the earth was shuttering.
And, at that very moment, Jesus cries out, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The earth explodes as the earthquake hits, and the thick curtain in the temple is torn in two from top to bottom. At that moment, God was declaring that we had access to Heavenly Realms and that every obstacle was being removed. God had declared unrestricted access to Heaven for His children. Heaven had won the war; however, the demonic realm nor the world did not understand that yet.
At this moment, there is no breath in Jesus. The wind is knocked out of all who followed him because nothing was making sense. When we are walking with God, how often does nothing make sense? At that moment, we must learn to step back to the promises of God. That is our safe haven when the world around us is shaking,
I am so thankful that the Cross is not the end of the story. Without the resurrection, we would have a body on the Cross. However, God knew that every curse must be broken. God loves us so much that He did not want us to carry our sins nor have to offer continual sacrifices; instead, He wanted us to learn to walk in freedom. Jesus had taught His disciples to pray for Heaven to invade earth. In this moment, Hell was defeated, death was conquered, the stone was rolled away, and we now declare that we serve a risen savior.
Between the Cross and the resurrection, there was a pause. A few days passed before the victory of the Cross would be seen. That in-between time is always a challenge. We can decide if the hopeless situation has the last say in every area of our lives or if God does.
Many religions or little gods can be worshiped in our world. However, only One True God is alive and has defeated death and sin. That is the God that we serve. So, be prepared because Easter is coming. Leave your insecurities, fears, and failures at the foot of the Cross. It is time to decree and declare that He HAS Risen! Shout that at the top of your lungs, for He is worthy of all praise!
One final note, as your praises go up the demonic must flee. As you worship, you focus on the One through whom nothing is impossible. As you focus on Him you can receive what you need for this season. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus. Jesus loves you so much that with joy He endured the Cross so you can become who God created you to be. I am so thankful for that Cross. Let us worship!