As the first Easter for City on a Hill Church grows closer and closer it adds even greater value to our core value and the premise our church has been founded upon. “It is all about Jesus, it has always been about Jesus, and it will always be about Jesus.” Good Friday is the darkest day for the Christian faith. It is the darkest because it is the day Jesus was crucified and died on the cross for the sins of the world. My sincere prayer for every believer is that the cross of Christ never become common and that every time we think of the cross we are devastated but not destroyed. Some would ask why would I say that? My answer is simple. If the cross ever becomes common and no longer devastates us it leaves us to lead lives laced with cheap grace. We must always remember the cross was necessary to pay the penalty for sin. The cross of Christ is where the justice of God met the grace of God and His wrath was satisfied against the sins of the world. Christ’s death on the cross purchased our salvation and has the power to put us in right standing with God. Without the cross we are lost. If good works could save us the cross isn’t necessary. The only way for man to be put back in right standing with God was a sacrifice, not just any sacrifice the perfect Lamb of God Jesus Christ. I know it may seem elementary for my blog but so many I speak don’t seem is grasp the weight of the heavy cross of Christ. Many do not even quite understand the cross because it isn’t spoken of as often it is assumed everyone already knows the story. The cross is critical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is critical for every person who hears and responds to never ever forget what it cost to purchase their salvation. It is equally critical to never forget the awfulness of the cross. It is the single most horrendous act ever committed by mankind. It is so horrendous that the word excruciating was invented to explain it. The word excruciating literally means “from the cross”. One of the greatest scandals of the cross is that we as believers call it a part of the Gospel which means “good news”. We even celebrate Good Friday and it leaves many wondering when they hear about the cross, What is so good about Friday? The Apostle Paul explains the reason it is good news in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. In the passage Paul shares the whole Gospel and he allows us to see that the single most important event in history has taken place the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Scripture reveals that the reason it is good news is because Jesus Christ died for our sins. Jesus took our penalty for sin which is death and paid the ultimate price. Jesus became our substitute and atoned for our sin on the cross. We must never ever forget this truth. If this truth ever becomes common and if this truth doesn’t devastate us regularly it can lead to cheap grace. There is nothing cheap about the grace of God it cost Him is very life’s blood. Hebrews 9:22 reminds us without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. At the cross Jesus substituted himself and took our place. He suffered and died to offer us forgiveness, to demonstrate God’s love , and to embrace us. Jesus didn’t do this in spite of our sins, no, no, He went to the cross because of our sins and reconciled us to God by appeasing the offended power, who is God the Father, giving Himself as a sin offering and sacrifice for us. It reminds me of an Alvin Slaughter song Mercy Refused, “Justice demanded satisfaction the law had been broken again and again. Judgement required immediate action death wanted payment for sin. But mercy refused and love took my place there on the cross where justice met grace. Though rightfully death wanted me mercy refused. ” Jesus did not demand our own blood instead He gave His own for us. As this Easter approaches my prayer for every believer is that the cross will devastate us once again. My prayer is that we walk a little straighter and lives that are set apart because of the cross. That we will remind ourselves by the grace of God and the cross of Christ we have freedom. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead we are offered new life. I pray this Easter will be all about Jesus, because it has always been about Jesus, and it will always be about Jesus. Easter Sunday morning I will be privileged to be a part of numerous baptisms at sunrise at North Gandy Beach. Those baptisms are only made possible through the cross. The cross of Christ is indeed good news!