When you finally “get” the cross

In The Pilgrim’s Progress, a character named Christian makes his way to the Celestial City. He would have considered himself “religious,” but doesn’t come to personally experience the significance of the cross until after he has already begun his journey.

As he walks along the path, he carries a big “burden” on his back. It looks like a heavy sack. He can’t get it off. The burden symbolizes the weight of his guilt and shame because of his sin.

One day he comes upon the cross. This is when he finally “gets it.” The burden literally falls from his back and rolls down a hill. Christian says: “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.”*

Fast forward to today. Do you appreciate the significance of what Jesus has done for you?

Like Christian, you might even be “religious” and still not understand the significance of the cross to you personally.

The cross is more than jewelry; it’s a proclamation of Jesus’ sacrifice, love, freedom and victory… for you!

Do you walk around with your own invisible-yet-heavy burden of guilt and shame? If so, behold the cross! 

Yes, you certainly continue to wrestle with sin. We all do. With God’s help we should fight it. But if you are a disciple of Jesus, your standing before God is no longer in doubt. Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness have been credited to your account!

The apostle Peter explains: “…whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).

If you’re unsure about all of this, talk to another Christian, a wise mentor, an elder or your pastor. 

Oh, and to reinforce the enormity of the cross, here’s an idea. Whisper ‘Thank you’ every time you see one. I know it sounds strange, but if you need the reminder, this can be a very practical habit which will solidify its importance in your mind.

“He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.”


–John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, no year given), 49-50.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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