The Lord Jesus was crucified within the actual confines of space and time. We should never forget that. When He was crucified, He was exposed to the same elements as every other person on a cross. We should contemplate this. He felt the rugged splinters of the beam chafing His body. He was disturbed by the flies that accosted His open wounds and swarmed around His battered brow. He thirsted. He experienced the shame of nakedness, not to mention the calumny of a mocking and jeering crowd. They mistook Him for a sinner when, in fact, He was the sinless Son of God.
But there is one other observation that I wish to make: Jesus was crucified in what was probably mid-March. In that part of the world, it would have been somewhat cold—especially when one considers that He was naked and had suffered the loss of much bodily fluid. Jesus hung on a rugged cross, and it was cold (in more ways than one). And yet He remained there. He fulfilled His Father’s will. He became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
What does Jesus expect of us who claim to be His redeemed people? Nothing less than taking up our cross. Yes, even when it is cold.
Winter has come early this year, and thus so has the providential challenge to be as faithful in following Christ in the cold as in midsummer. The command to take up our cross is not conditioned by the weather forecast or by the equinox. That command pays no attention to the thermometer. And so we need to hear it loud and clear in these cold days.
Though the temperature is challenging, may we take up the challenge to persevere in our quiet time, even though it means wrapping up like Eskimos! Let us take up our cross and come to the early Family Bible Hour, in spite of shivering through the opening assembly, and in spite of complaining children. May we exercise the devotion to attend Sunday evening services and the Wednesday prayer meeting when all of our flesh screams, “Stay in where it is warm!”
When you are tempted with an electric blanket and a hot water bottle, simply ask yourself the question, how cold was the cross of Christ?