The Cross of Jesus
Mar 4, 2022 · Courtney Jacob
Every year, Christians around the world observe the season of Lent by intentionally slowing down, remembering Christ’s sacrifice, and preparing their hearts for the incredibly joyous celebration of Easter. This important and valuable tradition nurtures and grows our faith while also rooting it securely in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the events that changed our destiny.
Lenten practices may vary by individual and church, but the purpose and intent of each are the same: to reflect on Jesus Christ’s death and prepare to celebrate his resurrection. Join Groundwork this Lent for our series “The Cross of Jesus.” Together we'll focus our minds and hearts by studying and reflecting on the cross of Jesus as revealed to us in Scripture.
Why Study the Cross
The cross of Jesus is a distinctly Christian symbol and is universally present across denominational lines. It’s so recognizable, and ever-present in our North American culture, that it can be easy to move too quickly past it without stopping to remember its profound meaning or incredible cost. Much like walking all the way around a statue or pausing to study the intricate details of a painting, studying the many aspects of the cross conveyed in Scripture provides us with greater context and understanding about what Jesus Christ endured on our behalf.
But reflecting on the cross is not simply an academic exercise. It is a spiritual practice that is good for our faith, a rhythm of revisiting and dwelling again with Jesus. It provides us the opportunity to consider how we’re involved—both in the need for salvation and in Jesus’ crucifixion. Lent encourages us to ask questions like “what is the application of the cross for our lives, and how does it affect our hearts?”
Learning about our salvation in Christ through his death on the cross and his resurrection strengthens and deepens the roots of our faith. It plants us securely in the knowledge that it’s all God’s doing and not our own effort. Considering the implications of Christ’s death and our salvation also helps our faith to grow. The more we remember God’s great love for us, find our identity in Christ, and cultivate our connection to him, the more our faith will flourish. We will better understand what God expects of us and find it easier to live faithfully into that call.
Nurture Your Faith
Whether you observe Lent regularly or whether you’re learning about it for the first time, I invite you to focus your mind and heart on the cross over these next seven weeks and discover the deep implications of Christ’s death and resurrection for you through our Groundwork series “The Cross of Jesus”:
- Why Jesus Had to Die on a Cross - Genesis 3:14-15, Romans 5:12-17, Isaiah 10:1-3, Habakkuk 1:2-4, and Jeremiah 31:31-34
- The Curse of the Cross - Deuteronomy 28:1-19, Deuteronomy 21:22-23, Galatians 3:10-14, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and Isaiah 53:4-11
- The Shame of the Cross - Isaiah 53:1-3, Philippians 2:5-8, Genesis 2:25, Genesis 3:7-10, Hebrews 12:1-3, and 1 Peter 2:4-6
- The Paradox of the Cross - 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Romans 5:1-11, and Ephesians 2:8-10
- The Complete Sufficiency of the Cross - Isaiah 53:6, Galatians 3:1-3 & 24-27, Galatians 2:20-21, Romans 5:9-11, Romans 6:1-4, and Galatians 6:14-15
- The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ - Matthew 27:45-53, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:13-25, and John 19:28-37
- Crucified and Raised to Life with Christ - Philippians 3:10-11, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:1-14, 1 Corinthians 15:12-23, and Romans 6:14
...and together we’ll once again be reminded of the fuller picture of the cross that helps us understand with greater clarity what Jesus Christ endured on our behalf and what it means for us.
If you'd like to reflect and study while you listen, download Groundwork's 7-part study "The Cross of Jesus."