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Editors note: This is a brand new series on the Gospel designed to help our readers think through what the Gospel is and what it demands.


At my local church we have a Good Friday service where we nail a piece of paper with our sins to the cross. This event is symbolic of what Christ has accomplished for us. It is about more than just subscribing to our belief in the sufficiency of Christ finished work to cleanse us of our sins. It is about standing in wonder of what Jesus has done. Over the past few years I’ve come to really appreciate this service. In this service we are saying that we truly believe that Jesus has dealt with our sins on the cross.

As I sat in the service I was thinking about my past and how the Lord has worked powerfully in my life. As I did this the Lord brought freshly to my memory how He had brought me out of an addiction to pornography and anger. As I sat next to my wife with the sacrament in my hand, I was struck afresh at the wonder of the cross. I was struck by the beauty of Jesus finished work. Even writing about this, I’m getting misty eyed and thankful once again as I sit and write these words at a coffee shop while listening to worship music that exalts the Lord Jesus as King.

As I was sitting in the pew thinking about all of this, I was struck afresh at the doctrine of expiation, namely how the Lord has carried away our sins as far as the east is to the west, as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 103:12. Perhaps you think, “What does this have to do with me, Dave?” It has everything to do with you friend. I grew up in the church, was saved at a young age and started ministry while I was a teenager. The Lord has been very kind and gracious to me. I grew up in a family of Christians and come from a long line of Christians. Yet, I wonder for us who’ve been a Christian a long time or grown up in the church, when was the last time you were struck with wonder at the cross?

Perhaps today you are like me and have a thousand things going on in your life. Yet, you only really have one true need and that is Jesus. Only Jesus can carry away your sins through His finished work. Only He can remove and deal with the penalty and punishment of sin. He does that through His finished work where He took upon Himself our sin. Through His finished work, He takes our sin upon Himself and credits His righteousness to our account. The wrath of God is satisfied in the substitionary work of Jesus Christ. Through Him we are forgiven and made new. Oh, friend don’t you see how glorious this is! As a Christian, you are no longer under the penalty or punishment of sin! You are as the Bible teaches, a new creation in Christ. You have a new identity in Jesus! You gather in a new community, the Church centered on Christ. These precious gospel truths are awe-inspiring, glorious in scope and truly ought to cause one to bask at the grandeur at the wonder of the cross.

Maybe you’ve gone through a lot of different things like I have. I don’t know where you are in your walk with God. Being a Christian a long-time I know that it is all too easy to walk through the motions. It is easy to lose your wonder and awe of the cross. You don’t mean to do this of course it just happens as life crowds everything out, until at last you’ve lost your awe and wonder of the cross. Friend today I pray that the Lord Jesus would stir your affections to the wonder of the cross. I pray today that you would see yourself as you were before you were saved, as a sinner lost, twirling in the wind until the Good Shepherd spoke your name and you heard His voice, bidding you to home to Himself which resulted in you coming home to Him.

As I sat after taking communion on Good Friday I basked in wonder at the cross. As we sang the wonder of the cross, I sang it as for the first time, even though I’ve sang it many times over the years. Yet, I sang it all the while with new vigor as unto the Lord. The Lord has carried away our sins. He no longer remembers them because He has removed them as far as the east is to the west. That truth ought to cause us to bask in wonder at the cross. It ought to cause us to worship Him for the sufficiency of His work. I pray today the Lord would stir your affections afresh for Himself with the result being that the mercies of the Lord would become new and fresh to you. Then you’ll not only grasp the truth of Good Friday but also of the resurrection and Easter. We don’t have just a victorious Savior, Lord, and King, but a triumphant King who has defeated death and the grave, and who is even now our exalted King, High Priest, Intercessor and Mediator before the Father. This Savior, this King, this Priest is coming back to rule and reign over the throne of David. Let the people of God rise up in worship by standing in awe and wonder at the sufficiency of His work. Hallelujah to the Lamb who was slain, and is yet returning.

 Gospel Series: Expiation, Good Friday and the wonder of the Cross


Servant of God’s grace and His people, husband to Sarah, writer, editor, speaker, coffee drinker, Seattle sports fan and the Director of Servants of Grace.

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