“…He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
The cross in Bible times was a mark of shame. It was one of the worse ways to die and was reserved for the most wicked of criminals. The bible even calls it a curse to be hanged on a tree in the book of Deuteronomy. Some even say that because sin entered the world through a tree (the tree of knowledge where Adam took the apple from), that is why it was cursed. Make of that what you will, but what we do know for sure, is that on the tree that Christ was crucified on, all sin and curses were broken as Jesus became sin for us and broke the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us. He took our place.
Yet all this was in submission and obedience to the Father. When Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Lord, take this cup from me”, the anguish He was feeling was real. It was far from easy for Him to give His life, to take our sins and to be beaten to death. Yet He cried out the most powerful words, “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours!!”.
True obedience calls us to submit our own desires and align ourselves with the will of God; even if the cost is great and involves big sacrifices. Jesus our perfect example, showed us how to live an obedient and self-less life. The cross nows stands a blessing for humanity. Moreover, it is not so much the cross itself, but what happened on the cross that causes us to rejoice. Let us draw on the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection to enable us to live lives submitted in obedience to God our Heavenly Father.