Greater love has no man than this, than a man to lay down His life for His friends.
On one Friday evening He is led to the place of skull (Golgotha), a place that the Romans used to break peoples’ bones. He is carrying a very heavy burden, a rugged cross as it is often referred to. On the way He is wounded, a crown of thorns is placed on His head, He is stripped naked and shamed but still He does not abandon the cross.
As He is laid on the cross He bleeds from His head and His back from the whipping he had received, His hands are nailed to the cross and He bleeds some more, He is pierced on the sides and continues to bleed. Unlike the two thieves being crucified beside Him, His blood is dripping to the ground as if He were a living sacrifice offered.
The Romans have crucified Him and His own people rejoice in His suffering. The soldiers mock Him and one thief on His left asks Him to save Himself. He cries out to His Father and His Father turns His face away from Him so that humanity may receive salvation. It is finished He declares and bows His head down to die. A title is put on the cross “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” which is the full revelation of the cross. The cross is the intersection where heaven meets earth. The place where we first see the light, as we behold the son suffering to bring glory to the Father. In that moment the Father’s great love for us is demonstrated as He forsakes His Son in order to save the world. The Son, a lamb without blemish becomes sin that we may not become.
He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people was He stricken.
That is why the rugged CROSS of Jesus Christ is indeed the emblem of LOVE.
As Firebrands we have a vision of Kenya returning back to the cross, we do not preach the feel-good Gospel and there is nothing cute about the cross. It is because of that bloody-rugged cross that we have known salvation.
Sermon by Jayne Nyoro Sims