You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. –I Peter 1:10-20
“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, for by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”
With these words, in the somber darkness, the Church kneels on Good Friday to remember our Lord’s death. How moving Good Friday is as we observe and, yes, celebrate our redemption by the precious blood of Christ, who gave His life like a lamb, without blemish or spot.
How wonderful that we have been ransomed from sin, death and the devil, not with silver and gold, not with wealth or possessions, but with the very life-blood of our Lord and Savior, the very Son of God Himself!
If only we would keep the cross before us, not one day a year, but every day. Could we live our lives “beneath the cross of Jesus,” as the hymn has it? Could we make our stand in life, under the cross, and only under the cross of Christ? What would life be like?
First, it would be life lived in adoration of the Christ who gave Himself up for us, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world. Second, it would be life lived in appreciation for the free gift of grace, the free gift of salvation, bought not with money or works, but purchased for us by the blood of our Savior. Finally, it would be life lived sacrificially, as we give ourselves to God and our neighbor, in response to the gift of salvation.
When we come to church throughout the year, might we pay special attention and devotion to Christ on the cross—meditating on the cross in the front of the church when we arrive, before and after receiving the Lord’s Supper, having a moment of prayer before leaving His presence after worship? We are indeed Easter people, as we live Christ’s resurrection, but aren’t we also people of the cross—people who know that were it not for the precious blood of Christ, we would have no hope and no future?
Lord our God, make us to be people of the cross and of the Blood, that our lives would have a cruciform shape—as we give ourselves to our Lord in sacrifice and service; through the same, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.