cross: the counterintuitive way of the cross that sets us free

The way of the cross seems counterintuitive. Who would willingly walk to such a gruesome, painful death? Who could endure the ultimate, agonising sacrifice of a totally self-surrendered life? Not one of us, I would bet.

But it was the route Jesus took to restore us back to the Father’s side. It was a pathway paved with lavish love and grace. It created a shift in the heavens and altered our perspective on earth thereafter.

Jesus willingly yielded His life so that we could personally experience God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness, His poured out grace for the human race. He had the joyous end view in sight of many sons and daughters sharing His eternal Home and glory to come.

His surrendered sacrifice inspires us to persevere in our own walk of faith, keeping the cross before us to remind us of the price Jesus paid to set us free from sin, guilt and shame.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

My haiku sequence vignette was written as a poetic response to these thoughts and a way to try to describe the indescribable, while recognising we are entering into the heart of the mystery of our salvation.

The way of the Cross

the way of the cross
is counterintuitive
we see surrender

and self-sacrifice
from Christ’s freely poured out life
as rivers of blood

mingle to become
oceans of mercy and grace
for the human race

and joy rises up
as he drinks the bitter gall
from death’s lifted cup

to yield his last breath
into Father’s loving hands
as curtain is torn

and darkness descends
making witnesses fearful
feel lost and bereft

their Saviour seems dead
but it is not over yet
for he rises from death

there’s an empty tomb
Resurrection has come
hope for everyone
©joylenton

Let’s rejoice with the Newsboys’ song and say our own “Hallelujah for the cross!”

PS: I’m also honoured to have a Good Friday reflection and poem featured on the Godspace community blog. Just click here to read it. And If you would like to slowly ponder the enormity of it all, you can join in with the Lectio Divina reading below that focuses on Isiaiah 53: 3-6. May God bless you with His amazing love, joy and peace this Easter, my friend! 🙂 ❤

14 thoughts on “cross: the counterintuitive way of the cross that sets us free

  1. Dear Joy,
    Thank you for these reflections on this Good Friday. This stanza is so astounding to me:

    “and joy rises up
    as he drinks the bitter gall
    from death’s lifted cup”

    You have expressed so well the wonder of the verse, “who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.” Jesus opened the way for us to be with the Father! What a miracle happened there in the garden as Jesus showed us the way to surrender, by bearing the deepest of all. May you have a Blessed Easter my friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, the glorious, yet oh so painful surrender wrought in the garden of Gethsemane is astounding, isn’t it? We do well to marvel at the humility of Christ’s willingness to go to the Cross for us, though we can barely fathom it. I love how you have described Jesus revealing the depths of surrender to God’s will by “bearing the deepest of all.” Amen! And I so appreciate your feedback and encouragement about the poem. I’m grateful to have been given new poetic thoughts to share! Love, hugs and prayers to you, my friend. May you and yours have a Blessed Easter too! xoxo 💜

  2. Beautiful poetry, Joy! I love the whole poem, but these lines jumped out:
    “and self-sacrifice
    from Christ’s freely poured out life
    as rivers of blood

    mingle to become
    oceans of mercy and grace
    for the human race”

    Thanks so much for reminding us of what Christ did because of His love.
    Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear sister! xoxo

    • Hi Gayl, it’s so kind of you to stop by and let me know how this poem has spoken to you! Thank you. The Easter story never gets stale, does it? I am grateful God gives us new ways of expressing the inexplicable in sharing our thoughts about it all. Blessings, love and hugs to you too, dear friend! Have a lovely Easter! xoxo 😊💜

  3. Beautiful words. So true. Love this especially:

    “as rivers of blood

    mingle to become
    oceans of mercy and grace
    for the human race”

    A gift of such magnitude we can scarce take it in. Thank You, Jesus.

    Will go check out your featured poem. Congrats!

    I follow Summer on YouTube too. So blessed by her. Bettie introduced me to her 😊.

    • Dear Anna, your words here say exactly how we feel when contemplating Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross:
      “A gift of such magnitude we can scarce take it in.” Amen! Thank you for being here, offering your thoughts and sweet encouragement. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Bettie for introducing me to Summer’s videos! 😊💜

    • Hello June, it gives me JOY to see you here, my friend! Our Easter joy has continued this week with having family visiting. They go back home tomorrow and I will be taking a needful break to rest and recover. I hope you had a joyful Easter celebration and are enjoying spring weather and wildlife. Blessings and love to you! xo 😊💜

    • Amen, Mekav! God’s love is “beyond imagination” and we are truly blessed to be its recipients. Thanks for stopping by to read and respond. Blessings to you as a new week begins. 😊

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