We are almost out of winter and into spring. As you are reading this, there will be a noticeable difference as the days gradually get longer, the flowers start to appear and there is less rain and more sun (here’s hoping, anyway!)
As well as the change of season from winter to spring, we have recently entered the season of Lent, a season which we often overlook or do not fully appreciate. Lent is to Easter what Advent is to Christmas. It is a season of preparation, a season of reflection, as we approach what can only be described as the high point of the church calendar – the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What do you see when you look at the cross? If you had been there on the first Good Friday you would have seen a man in great pain and anguish, covered in blood and being executed beside two criminals. What do you think you would have made of Jesus if you had been there?
If you had been a passer-by, would you have concluded that Jesus was another criminal, a political rebel, a fraud, or perhaps like many today, a man whose noble ideas had brutally hit the buffers of real life. What Jesus spoke of was all good and well, but surely it couldn’t last?!
The Bible tells is that when we look at the cross, we see the crucified Jesus who is the Son of God and the Saviour of this world. That is what we are invited to see and explore this Lent and Easter time. The gospel writers beckon us in to look at Jesus and see the very glory of God.
For many, when we think of Christ being killed on a cross it doesn’t seem like glory, if anything it seems like failure. But the cross of Christ is not some glitch en route to his true glory – The cross of Christ is the glory of God.
It is at the cross we see the true extent of our sin and rebellion, and the full extent of God’s grace and love. We were destined
for the grave, but God in His grace and mercy stepped down to this earth to pay the price that we deserved to pay, death, so that through believing and accepting Christ as Lord we might be made right with an all-powerful and Holy God. Praise the Lord!
Easter can easily come and go and pass us by but let me encourage you to take time this Lent – good quality time – to read the gospel accounts again of Christ’s finished work upon the cross. Read, ponder and be awestruck afresh at the crucified God, the glory of God as He takes our place, and because of His love that we might go free.
My prayer is this, that as we take the time this Lent, we will arrive at Easter having been thrilled at who Jesus is and what He has done and will have a deeper love for Him and a greater desire to make Him known. May we all see Christ more clearly this season, may we be amazed afresh at the glory of the cross.
I would like to suggest some devotional books which will help you reflect on the glory of Jesus through Lent. They can be purchased from all good online Christian bookstores:
- The Glory of the Cross – Tim Chester
- To Seek and to Save – Sinclair B. Ferguson
- The Beauty of the Cross – Tim Chester
God bless you this Lent and Easter time.
 Some of the thoughts in this article have been inspired by Tim Chester’s work, “The Glory of the Cross”