The Cross is the pathway to eternal life for all Christians. The way began on Good Friday, when Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, shed his precious blood and gave his life for the lost sheep, the scattered humanity. The law of Moses states that “without shedding of blood [there] is no remission.” Animal sacrifices came to an end when the ‘ Lamb of God' paid the penalty for sins by spilling his priceless, sinless blood, hanging on the Cross by three nails, wearing a crown of thorns and being whipped, with the label atop the Cross, “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.”

A mocking, accusing, abusing mob stood around and along the path made wet with blood as Jesus lugged a heavy wooden Cross on that day, the remedy for Satan's onslaught on mankind. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Evidently, the Cross is the life, not death. The Cross is the demonstration of God's love and righteousness. Calvary is unique and universal. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (IJohn 4:10). Christ died for us all, to redeem us. His blood is the atonement. The first prayer of the Saviour on the agonising Cross is, “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). For a world filled with hatred, envy, revenge, bloodshed and terrorism, the message is: “Love, forgive and be forgiven.”

The Cross is the answer to all the ills that have invaded the helpless soul. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our inequities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5): that is a prophecy fulfilled. Without the Cross, there is no crown. Without pain, there is no gain, no pleasure. Without emptying, there is no filling. Christ emptied and humbled himself for the sinful mankind.

Money can buy a bed, not sleep; books, not brains; a house, not a home; medicine, not health; amusement, not happiness; persons, not affection. And it can buy a crucifix, but not a Saviour. This is the point to ponder on this blessed Good Friday.

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