Jesus shed his precious blood on the altar that was Calvary, paying for humankind's sins. The Bible says: “For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). At the historical cross, eternal life, peace and redemption were bought for sons and daughters of God defeating sin, Satan and death. Thus, ironically, God made the sad day ‘Good Friday.’ The Cross of Jesus symbolises God’s ultimate power to crush man’s enemies.

The cross is a mystery that unfolds the love of God, to be shared and shown to the poor and the lowly and to our fellow-beings around us every day of our lives. Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me' (Matthew 6:24).

Carry the cross on earth and wear the crown in eternity. Bear the cross in youth and it will bear you in old age. There is a cross and throne in each heart. Jesus stooped to conquer hearts through meekness and mercy.

The good shepherd laid down his life for the sheep. He died for the salvation of the just and the unjust. Hanging beside him on a cross was the bandit Barabbas. The penitent thief was on the right side and he attained paradise by penitence and accepting Jesus as king.

To those who believe that Jesus died for them, through crucifixion and the sepulchre came the throne and the palace of the eternal God. St Paul says: “For though he was crucified through weakness yet he liveth by the power of God” (II Corinthians 13:4). The empty tomb thundered that Christ is the victor, not victim.

The signboard on the cross that said ‘King of the Jews’ was meant to be an insult, but it was really the truth. Those who desire to be his disciples need to endure suffering, sickness, and sorrow, even unjustly, yet love others. Thus they will receive the crown of life. His wounds are balm to the bruises of the soul and body. His blood cleanses all sins and reconciles man with God. The seven words of Jesus on the cross meditated on Good Friday shine in the darkness around us as path-setters to mankind to make man's life worth living. For every crucifixion there is a resurrection, for every crown of thorns there is a crown of glory.

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