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The Cross of Christ: A Symbol of Sacrifice and Redemption – A Daily Devotion

Matthew 27:32-56 (NIV)

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.

33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).

34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.

35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.

37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads

40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.

42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.

56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.


The events depicted in Matthew 27:32-56 mark the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry, leading to His ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. As we approach Easter, it’s essential to reflect on the profound significance of the cross and what it represents in our lives.

1. The Weight of the Cross: Imagine Simon of Cyrene, forced to carry the cross alongside Jesus. In doing so, Simon bore a physical burden but unknowingly became part of a spiritual journey that would change the course of history. The weight of the cross symbolizes the burdens and sins of the world that Jesus willingly took upon Himself.

2. The Agony of Crucifixion: Jesus endured unimaginable suffering on the cross. Despite the mockery and taunts from bystanders, He remained steadfast in His mission. His silence in the face of ridicule speaks volumes about His love and commitment to fulfilling God’s plan of salvation.

3. The Darkness and the Cry of Abandonment: The darkness that covered the land symbolizes the spiritual darkness of sin and separation from God. In His moment of greatest agony, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This cry echoes the pain of humanity and demonstrates Jesus’ full identification with our struggles and sorrows.

4. The Veil Torn: At the moment of Jesus’ death, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, signifying the removal of the barrier between God and humanity. Through His sacrifice, Jesus opened the way for us to have direct access to the Father.

5. The Centurion’s Confession: Even the Roman centurion, a symbol of authority and power, was moved to confess, “Surely he was the Son of God!” The events surrounding Jesus’ death were so profound that they compelled even the hardened hearts to acknowledge His divine identity.

As we meditate on these scriptures, let us remember the immense love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Easter is not just a time of celebration but also a time of solemn reflection on the price paid for our redemption. May we respond to His love with gratitude, repentance, and wholehearted devotion, knowing that through His death and resurrection, we have been granted the gift of eternal life.