‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

At three o’clock in the afternoon there was darkness and a great earthquake. It was as if the very foundations of hell were shaking, but the power of the love of Christ was undefeated and unquenchable. The joy of Easter was yet to come, but the victory was being won on Good Friday. In the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings for us lies our salvation, and that is why we think deeply about the Words drawn from him in the hours of his suffering. If we take our eyes from the cross we are lost; if we fail to contemplate the magnitude of the free offering of his life, then we will never be drawn to the cross with him, and we will spend our lives in lesser pursuits. The whole of our faith is determined by the events of this day; all else contributes to our salvation, but the cross of Jesus lies at its heart. The fact that Jesus hung on to the end and did not choose to come down from the cross is the reason why Christians live the lives they do and revere the symbol of a cross as the most potent and central reminder of their faith. It is the reason why millions of Christians gather at the foot of the cross on Good Friday.

Excerpted from Christ’s Seven Words from the Cross by John Mann (Introduction)