Many tourists in France go to the beaches of Normandy to see the battlegrounds and graveyards of World War II. But just 30 minutes from our home, up the Vosges mountains in Alsace, are the battlegrounds and cemeteries of World War I. There are bunkers and trenches still there. There are even areas blocked off to protect from hidden mines. But what impresses me most is the row upon row of crosses where French soldiers are buried. They died so that others might live.
Our verse for today speaks of another death that is also marked by a cross. Today is Good Friday when we remember the ultimate loving sacrifice of the Son of God. He died so that others may live as well. But the life He purchased with His blood is to be a life of righteousness. It is a life that is healed from the ravages of sin and guilt. Jesus took on Himself every awful sin and healed those who trust Him from its terrible consequences.
The cross for some people is foolishness. For others it signifies indignity and failure. But for those who believe, it is the power by which we are saved (I Cor. 1:18). The cross is polarizing. There is no middle ground. Like the two thieves crucified with Jesus, there are only two responses. We either place our trust in Christ as our substitute, or we remain in our sin.
I am so thankful for Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection! Because of that cross, I have hope. I have life, forgiveness, and healing! Lord, “simply to Thy cross I cling.”