Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Christians might be thinking about the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ more than usual since the closer they get to the celebration of the most sacred day of Christianity. What Christians might not be aware of is that there are different ways to look at the cross, and the way they view the cross reveals a lot about their relationship with Jesus.
Pay attention to the different ways listed below and determine how you view Jesus and His death on the cross.
1. Seeing the Cross from Behind
If you look at the cross from behind, it means you want to know first hand what is going on, but you are afraid or ashamed to come face to face with Jesus. You feel sorry about the pain He is suffering on the cross, but you don't want to think that you have done something to put Him there.
Thousands of years later, you still look at Jesus from behind the cross instead of seeing Him up close enough to communicate with Him. You know Jesus died on the cross for your redemption, but your relationship is at a distance instead of up close and personal.
2. Seeing the Cross from the Front
People who look at the cross from the front can clearly see Jesus who is suffering. They have an intimate and personal relationship with Him as a close friend. They feel
comfortable looking into His eyes and talking to Him about everything.
Even though they see the pain and suffering on Jesus' face, they know they will see Him again when there will be no more death.
3. Looking Up at the Cross
The people who look up at the cross to see Jesus are those who go to Jesus hopeless and helpless knowing that He is above all things This is the best position to be in because as you look up at Jesus, He is looking down on you. Not only that but also the blood that is shed from Jesus' body will fall on you, wash away your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. People who look up to see Jesus know that He is the Son of God.
The Bible records that a small group of faithful followers stood beneath the cross of Jesus and looked up at Him as He died. They witnessed the suffering He endured on the cross. However, there was absolutely nothing they could do to help Him in His greatest time of need.
When Jesus saw His mother looking up at Him on the cross, He asked John, His beloved disciple, to take her home (John 19:26-27). Even though Jesus spent the last part of His ministry preparing all His disciples what would happen, only John was at the foot of the cross before Jesus asked Him to take care of His mother.
Not even Jesus' inner circle consisting of Peter and James were at the cross. Peter who cut off the soldier's ear to protect Jesus and who tried to walk on water like Jesus was not there. Instead, he was away from the crucifixion like he was away from Jesus' trial. He was in the courtyard away from His Master saying that he didn't know the man (Matthew 26:72).
4. Looking Down on the Cross
There are some people who look down on the cross as if they are in a sycamore tree like Zacchaeus, according to Luke 19:1-10. Unlike Zaccheaus, they do not come down and be closer to Jesus. That's because they enjoy seeing Jesus beneath them instead of above them. It is their way of controlling their own lives.
This is the most dangerous way to see Jesus because it means people don't need Jesus. They have the attitude that they can do things on their own without involving Jesus at all.
5. Seeing the Cross from One of the Two Sides
Two guilty thieves were crucified on each side of Jesus who was not guilty. One thief was penitent while the other thief hurled insults at Jesus. The Bible does not indicate which was on the right or left side of Jesus. What we know is that Jesus was in the middle, and the thieves were close enough to Him to have a conversation.
Luke 23:39-41 says, "One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" The other criminal rebuked him and asked, "Don't you fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
The repentance thief spoke to Jesus and said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said to that thief, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke:23:42-43).
Thousand of years later, some people are seeing Jesus from the side like the penitence thief. Some people are treating Jesus like the other thief who mocked Jesus and hurled insults at Him. Which thief are you like?
How Do You See Jesus on the Cross?
Which of the following ways do you see Jesus on the cross?
- from behind the cross
- in front of the cross
- as you look up at the cross
- looking down on the cross
- seeing Jesus from the side of the penitent thief
- seeing Jesus from the side of the mocking thief
Reflect on how you view the cross and see Jesus giving His life for you. The way you see Jesus tells a lot about your relationship with your Lord and Savior.
If you do not have a close relationship with Jesus, you can change this right now. When you change the way you look at Jesus on the cross, it will change you and your relationship with Him.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 11, 2020:
Very insightful. It causes personal reflection and self-evaluation. Thank you.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on April 09, 2020:
Thanks, Cheryl, for reading and commenting. Blessings to you and your family.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on April 09, 2020:
Beautiful story and perfect for this time of year,