Philippians on Friday: Remember the Cross

Thanks for joining me for our Philippians on Friday devotion.  We’ve been studying chapter two and our verse for today couldn’t be more fitting for this Good Friday:

Philippians 2:8 (KJV) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

PhilippiansPhilippians 2:8, beautifully depicts the greatest story every told – the incarnation. God laid aside His splendor, humbled Himself, and became a man. He was obedient unto death – not just any death – but the death of the Cross. And He did it to pay the price for our sins so we could be reconciled to Him!

William Newell, in the hymn, At Calvary, tells the great story in unforgettable fashion:

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!

Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!

Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span

  At Calvary!

Good Friday is a day we commemorate the death of Jesus on the Cross. The Cross of Calvary is the focal point of God’s salvation plan. It was on the Cross:

  • That Jesus died for each of us.
  • That He, as the spotless lamb of God, was offered as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for my sin and your sin.
  • That the Body of Jesus was broken and bruised to provide for our healing.

His death gave us hope of life. His sorrow gave us hope of joy. His struggle gave us hope of victory. When He was on the cross, we were on His mind. He died for you and me.  He died in our stead and in our place.

The Cross was a necessity.  It was the only way of salvation for us.  That’s why Jesus was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  The two thieves who were crucified with Jesus – one on the right and one on the left – had two very different ideas about the Cross. One wanted salvation but did not want a cross. He wanted Jesus to come down from the Cross.  He said,

“If thou be Christ, save thyself and us!” (Luke 23)

Come down from the Cross and save us!  But there is no salvation without the Cross.  That’s why Jesus went all the way to the end – until He could say, “It is finished.”

His death gave us hope of life. His sorrow gave us hope of joy. His struggle gave us hope of victory.

The other thief knew there would be no coming down from the Cross. He acknowledged that, although Jesus was innocent, he and other thief deserved to be there.  He knew any hope of salvation was by way of the Cross.  He knew there would be no escaping the cross. He simply said,

“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)

He wanted to be saved, but he knew it was by way of the cross.

Jesus was crucified atop the hill called Golgotha, which means in the Hebrew, “the Philippiansplace of a skull.” It was so named because the rock formation on the hill resembled a skull.  The Cross was planted into the hill of Golgotha. It was planted into the place of the skull. May the cross be planted into our minds – firmly and permanently fixed in our memory and thinking. May we always remember that there is no salvation without the Cross of Christ.

We mustn’t forget the Old Rugged Cross. It stands as a reminder of our own sin, of how far we were from God, and how unable we were to save ourselves. It stands as a reminder of the great love and grace of God.

“In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, 
a wondrous beauty I see, 
for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, 
to pardon and sanctify me. 

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, 
till my trophies at last I lay down; 
I will cling to the old rugged cross, 
and exchange it some day for a crown.”

~Matthew Ball

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