Glorifying the cross, what does that mean? What is the meaning of glorifying something that was created by fallen man to be meant as a sign of shame and torture?
This symbol of shame and torture was changed on the afternoon that God used it as the one thing that would un-separate us from Him forever. Up to this point the world had been made with the idea that God was someone who could not be approached by just anyone. Sinners, fallen people of earth, unworthy to eat from the table of life were unable speak to God at all on their own. The Levites, a tribe of the Israelites that were led out of Egypt by Moses were made to be the Holy ones, and their main chore of life was to do all things religious and spiritual. Temples were built with levels of rooms that only certain holy ones could enter, then there was the Holy of Holy’s, the last room of the temple that very very few who were purest of heart could enter or be put to death if they tried. A story I heard once was that a rope was tied to the ankle of the one who went in so that in case he wasn’t a truly righteous man in God’s eyes and died from His presence, then he could be pulled out by the ones who definitely could not enter. True or not but would make a lot of sense, it would get awfully stinky.
Either way, this plan wasn’t faring too well with the people of Israel who really could not do anything but complain about the gifts God was giving them literally from heaven(Exodus 16:4) and beyond, so He warned them that He was sending someone else to save them from themselves, not just from the Egyptians.
So when that day finally came that God sent His only son(John 3:16), guess who didn’t and a group of them still to this day can’t believe in their One Saving Grace, the Israelites. The very blood line of people whom which Jesus came were looking for a “king”, royalty type person to sit on thrones and rule over the people. The very thought that God’s son would be a mere carpenter and a true King of kings and a friend to everyone, not a ruler to enforce the law of Abraham, was not something that they could and can still accept.
I and a bunch of people now and even then are glad Jesus is who He is, because in the Israelite/Moses days I was a gentile and we were like the scum of the earth. The slaves, the lowest of the low and not worth the time of day by the Jewish community. That could be something that may have caused the unbelief because we weren’t segregated anymore. The sadness that for always there has been segregation and people just can’t get over that and love all, but that’s a whole big story all on it’s own.
Now, the cross had been around a while when Caesar was using it to make examples of thieves, murderers, capital punishment Roman style. The crazy thing about this is that Pontius Pilate didn’t want to kill Jesus, he knew that Jesus had not done anything wrong. The head honchos at the temple wanted him gone because he was doing something that they could never do and help people less than themselves, love people more than themselves, and fill the “pews”. Thousands of people would come here Jesus speak, but no one wanted to go hear a bunch of old wind bags commanding laws that no one could uphold.
Jesus was hung on a cross meant for a thief, the thief’s sign replaced above his head was replaced with the one that said King of the Jews because Pontius called Him that. He had to carry the cross bar all the way from Pontius’ place to Calvary, which was not a short trek at all. Then, when he got there he was stripped of his clothes, nailed to the cross and then just for kicks one of the soldiers stabbed His side just to show he was a tough guy. Hanging there for hours, His Mother watching in horror, all the hateful people around watching and mocking, and yet He still loved us. He knew that this was his destiny for His Father, the one thing He had to do to make things right again. Jesus had never sinned, He had not done anything with His time on earth but Love us and care for us and He was put to death in such a way that can break a heart open to be able to receive the message it brought.
The very second that Jesus passed on to heaven, the sky opened and went dark, the temple had this big heavy curtain around the Holy of Holy room and God ripped that puppy right in two from the TOP to the bottom. The message was THAT’S IT!, wake up people, I AM and I’m HERE!
ALL God’s people were set FREE, get it, FREE! No more Holy of Holys, no more needing a mediator to talk to God. Free of shame, forgiven of all sin. Everyone gets to heaven, rich, poor, all races, all colors; the only stipulation is through Christ alone. Acknowledge Him, praise Him, follow His teachings, Love as He would. Christ is your only toll to pay on this highway to heaven.
Now the Cross was glorified from that historic day on Calvary, all shame and torture removed from the symbol, so lets set forth each day to glory in the cross and everything that Christ made it stand for and the unexpected peace that it brings.