Consider those who stood near the cross:

Soldiers… who stripped Jesus, pressed a thorny crown into His brow, then sat down and waited for Him to die.

Devoted disciples… who followed Jesus from Galilee and weeping women including Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Crowds… who stood to witness the sight with tears or taunts. Rulers and leaders who mocked saying, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”

A centurion… who watched, believed, and exclaimed, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

Now, as then, people stand near the cross.

Some mock and scorn– to them the cross is a symbol of weakness. Some stand near with respect and devotion– to them the cross represents sacrificial love. Some search for truth– to them the cross is an invitation to believe.

Now, as then, Jesus sees all who stand near the cross. He hears the challenges of those who scoff. He counts the tears of those who serve. He draws the hearts of those who seek.

And now, as then, He opens His pierced hands to receive all– scoffers, servants, and seekers alike.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18

Jesus, we come to You with gratitude for the cross. Thank You for loving us enough to endure its shame and pain. May we honor Your sacrifice. May we live to honor You.


An excerpt from “Pure Joy”