The Habit of Remembering the Cross
With Easter around the corner, I started thinking about the cross and what it means. I learned the phrase, “Remember the Cross,” from one of my favorite Christian teachers, Francis Chan. In a bible study teaching, he asked the question, “what are you doing to remember the cross every day?” It seems like a good question for Christians to have an answer to and even something we should endeavor to do daily—remember the cross.
Recently, I’ve been studying the book of Leviticus and in this book I’ve discovered so many reasons why it’s important for Christians to remember Jesus’ sacrifice each and every moment of each and every day. That may sound extreme, but hear me out.
Before Jesus, there was a time when the Israelites had to sacrifice animals for the atonement of their sins. Scripture plainly lays out the requirements in the book of Leviticus. For the sake of time and space, I’ve included a shorter, more condensed reading of Leviticus 4:1-9: “When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands…he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering…he is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it there before the Lord…take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the tent of meeting…dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord.”
Sin disconnects us from the presence of God, Isaiah 59:2 reads, “but your iniquities have separated you from God, your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Had the Israelites not gone through the process of publicly sacrificing flawless animals for the forgiveness of their intentional and unintentional sins, God would not have been able to hear their prayers. That’s a scary thought.
But thank God for Jesus and the beautiful truth in the book of Romans that “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for anyone who believes” (Romans 10:4.) Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection abolished the law. His sacrifice gives us the freedom to receive forgiveness of our sins no matter where we are: in our cars, at our desks on the job, or even at home in our kitchens—we can literally repent of our sins anywhere and if it’s with a pure repentant heart, God honors it.
This is why remembering the cross is essential to our walk as believers. It puts into focus for us God’s tremendous and overwhelming love, grace, and mercy. It reminds us that we are not here to live for ourselves (Galatians 2:20), but we have been anointed to live for the One who loved us so much that He died for our sins that we might be in right standing with God. Remembering the cross is our hope and it's a practice that should be exercised every day. Just as Jesus is the very culmination of the law, in that same way Easter Sunday should serve as a culmination of all the days of the year we are remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.