This Good Friday meditation is from Max Lucado’s book, On Calvary’s Hill, pages 43-46.


Scripture – Hebrews 12:2

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the carpenter to the ground and stretch his arms against the beams. One presses a knee against a forearm and a spike against a hand. Jesus turns his face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. Couldn’t Jesus have stopped him? With a flex of the biceps, with a clench of the fist, he could have resisted. Is this not the same hand that stilled the sea? Summoned the dead?

But the fist doesn’t clench . . . and the moment isn’t aborted.The mallet rings and the skin rips and the blood begins to drip, then rush. Then the questions follow.

Why? Why didn’t Jesus resist?“Because he loved us,” we reply. That is true, wonderfully true, but—forgive me—only partially true. There is more to his reason. He saw something that made him stay.

As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus rolled his head to the side, and with his cheek resting on the wood, he saw: A mallet? Yes. A nail? Yes. The soldier’s hand? Yes. But he saw something else. Between his hand and the wood, there was a list. A long list of our mistakes: our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins. The bad decisions last year. The bad attitudes from last week. There, in broad daylight for all of heaven to see, was a list of your mistakes. He saw the list! He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you, and since he couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, he chose the nails.

Heavenly Father, you saw the list with my name on it, nailed to the cross with Jesus. Thank you that that long, despicable list was cancelled out by Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s good to be free! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Heart Question

How often when you picture the cross, do you picture your list of sin that the blood of Jesus covered? Have we become immune to the meaning of the cross? If so, what does it take for us to return to the appreciation of the cross?

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