Christ Lifted Up

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

— John 12:32

When you think of Jesus Christ lifted up on the cross, how do you want to respond? Christ’s crucifixion has a magnetic quality, drawing people to Him, and as long as we keep it centrally focused, people will continue to come to Christ. Some churches don’t understand this, attempting to attract people in other ways. Unitarians, who have denied and rejected the atonement of Christ and the deity of Christ, don’t have the power to attract people. One of their leaders in Birmingham, England, said that Unitarianism failed to “draw.” The English public will not attend their chapels. Though Unitarians seem bewildered by this, it’s no mystery. These churches don’t “draw” because they’ve thrown away the magnet.

We don’t need big signs or flashy worship services to attract people to Him. Christ’s humble sacrifice has more magnetic power than anything any church could concoct.

Let’s take a quick look at the immediate impact of the Crucifixion to catch a glimpse of its awesome power. At the cross, the centurion—who had nailed Christ’s hands and feet to the cross—saw darkness cover the sky, the sun cease to give light, the rocks quake, the earth tremble, and the tombs open. Upon witnessing all this, the centurion said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). History tells us that this man went forth to follow Christ. A few weeks later three thousand more were drawn at Pentecost, then five thousand more, then multitudes of priests and elders and scribes were drawn, and then an exceeding great multitude were drawn, until finally the Roman Empire itself was overwhelmed by the magnetic power of Jesus Christ to draw men to Himself.

Why does the Crucifixion have so much drawing power? Consider the agony Christ endured. Hanging, a firing squad, electrocution, the gas chamber—the pain of all these forms of execution could never compare to the excruciating pain of crucifixion. Jesus submitted Himself to a slow death by suffocation that could have taken several days. The Crucifixion shows God’s incredible love for us, the love of a Father who would give His only Son to endure the penalty for the world’s sin.

Today, meditate on the Christ lifted up for your sake, and let the power of His crucifixion draw you nearer to Him in love and gratitude.

“It was not the character of Christ, not His justice, nor
His proclamations, nor His preaching, nor His teaching,
but rather it was his death that would draw men.”