“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

In Mark 15:21-41, we can read about the crucifixion of Jesus. These verses tell us what Jesus had to go through just before and during His death on the cross. As I read these words, tears come to my eyes because an innocent man, God’s only Son, came to this earth and suffered and died so that I can have forgiveness of my sins if I am faithful and obedient to Him. It is sad that Jesus had to go through this agony, but I am glad He did so that I can look forward to being with Him in eternity. In these verses, there are several things that I see:

I See the Greatest Act of Love Known to Man

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It is hard for me to know and understand the great love of God, our creator, for man — that He would send to this earth His only son, to live and die for me — a sinful man. I know that I am blessed because when I make the choice to live for Him fully and completely, then at the end of my life on earth I have comfort knowing that I will continue to live with Him throughout eternity.

I See the Reason and Importance for Christ’s Sacrifice

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). If Jesus’ death on the cross means anything to me, then I will strive to purge out the old leaven (sin) and put on the new man of righteousness and service to Him. I must always remember that He was sacrificed for me. I know that I cannot take that for granted.

I See the Necessity of Living Like Christ Lived

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). As I read the Bible and examine closely the life of Christ, I see God’s Son living on this earth as I do — yet without sin. Therefore, I understand that it is absolutely necessary for me to follow His example, living my life like He lived. This attitude shapes who I am, being a faithful Christian, husband, father, and servant. Because of this, I am able to make good decisions through life by simply asking myself before doing anything, “What would Jesus do?” When answered honestly, the right decision is confidently made.

I See the Urgency of Commitment to Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). It is urgent that I am committed to Christ daily because I don’t know how much longer that I will be living in the flesh on this earth. My commitment must be constant and unwavering every day. If I don’t stand for Christ, then I’ll fall for anything. Our heavenly Father is pleased with me when I am committed to serving His only Son.

I See the Joy of Striving for Heaven

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5). It took the death and resurrection of Jesus to allow me to have the hope of heaven. When I love Him, live for Him, and am faithful and obedient to Him in all things, then I can know that heaven will be my inheritance one day. I understand that I live in this world but I am not “of” the world. If I allow the pleasures of life to occupy my mind first and foremost, then I will not gain heaven. I am mindful of a sign I saw one time hanging above the front door in a home which read, “Heaven, don’t miss it for the world!”

In conclusion, I remember the words from an often sung gospel hymn: “I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?” My life is not all about me — it is about Jesus and serving Him diligently. What do you see when you “survey the wondrous cross?”

Richie Thetford