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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

The Power of the Cross

Jesus had just finished private conversations with his disciples about the tumultuous times they must endure. He used the story of the ten bridesmaids and five talents to remind them how true servants behave. He was painting a picture to prepare them. for what was coming.

Then, he takes a big breath, looks into their eyes, and says these heart-stopping words, “As you know . . . I will be crucified.” (Matthew 26:2)

But they didn’t know. Their minds were still fixed on the momentous crowd approval they believed would counter everything the Sanhedrin were trying to do. Did they think he used this torturous word metaphorically or did they hear it all? What did they know? Not enough to make the leap to Jesus’ imminent death.

Why did Jesus want the disciples to know about his death before it happened? Would it make it any easier? Probably not. Was he testing their understanding? Maybe. Perhaps he told them so that they could put the story together after it happened. He wanted them to know that he accepted his death as part of his mission. He wanted them to know there was no reason for revenge.

We know he was headed to the cross. We sing about it, read about it, and hear sermons about it. We can point fingers at the disciples because they should have known, but we still have to account for what we do with that information.

“As you know . . .” Jesus says to us. But do we know? “Knowledge is power,” Francis Bacon said. So what do we do with that power?

It is a haunting question on this journey to Easter. This is the watershed time for our personal history. Jesus died for me and he died for you. The key question we must all face, did his death make enough difference? Am I living the abundant, obedient, fruitful life that Jesus made possible on the cross? Knowing what he did isn’t enough. I must use that knowledge to live the life he came to share.

Today, as you think about your life, what difference does Jesus’ death on a cross mean for you? Where are you living below the power Jesus died to give you? Live in that power today. Anything less misunderstands the gift of the cross.

Prayer for This Week

All Loving Jesus,

I know what you did for me,

With all my heart I want it to make the difference you intended.

My world is just as messed up as when you were here.

Maybe more.

I must live in the power of the life you purchased for me

Which cost you the cross.

Nothing less honors you.

Nothing less satisfies me.

Learning to be An Empowered Follower

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