Almighty God, we beseech you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the Cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
on the day of his fierce anger.” Lamentations 1:12
Death by crucifixion was a gruesome death. This was not humane by any standards, but an intentionally and insidiously torturous means of public shame, humiliation, and execution. The Cross was not pretty, and yet it was glorious. Jesus was born into the world for this very purpose, to suffer and die, for us, for you. We draw near to Christ and His Cross, as his family, to remember just how much God loves us. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) The power of the Cross is both gruesome and glorious: the world thought it had defeated God by killing Him, and instead was defeated by the Peaceful Conqueror, the Suffering Servant, the Crucified King. This is the place of our greatest shame; this is the place of our total and complete redemption.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.