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Walk with Me Back to the Cross

Walk with Me Back to the Cross

Charles Martin’s It Is Finished is a 40-day devotional experience that looks up at the cross from a different angle each day. Enjoy this excerpt.


I don’t know for sure if Nicodemus attended the crucifixion of Jesus. I tend to think he did. Had he, he would have heard Jesus utter the word


and seen the spear enter Jesus’ chest cavity, and when it did, he would have seen the blood and water flow out. Which is also what happens at a birth. And he would have known Psalm 22:14, “My heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast” — which points to the Messiah. I think that’s the moment Nicodemus would have known, “That’s how I’m born again.” I can imagine him putting the pieces together in amazement:

  • He told me, ‘Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ That means He died in my place. His shed blood made propitiation for my sins. His death satisfied the wrath of God. He is the Lamb of God. He paid my sin debt. It is finished! And when I believe in Him — that He is the Son of God who has come to take away the sin of the whole world — I get credit for what He has done. God the Father imputes Jesus’ righteousness to me. Which means His death counts for me!”

When I think of Nicodemus, I see him kneeling at the cross. Face to the dirt. Tears. Snot. Hands held high. No, I can’t prove it. But how could he not? Scripture records that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took down the body of Jesus. Which means that one of them reached up and closed Jesus’ eyes.

Paul summed up being born again this way:

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”1

My pastor, Joby Martin, says that when we surrender our lives to the lordship of Jesus, we are overtaken by an alien righteousness. I can’t say it any better.

Pray with Me

Jesus, I’m undone I don’t have the words. I can’t fathom what You endured on my behalf. I just know You did. And with all that I am and as much as I am able, I say thank You. I am so grateful. You are my propitiation. Through Your shed blood, You made the payment on my behalf that satisfied the wrath of God. You have cleansed me. Washed me white as snow Peter, who watched You die, said, when You were reviled, You did not revile in return; when You suffered, You did not threaten but continued entrusting Yourself to Him who judges justly. You Yourself bore my sins in Your body on the tree, that I might die to sin and live to righteousness. By Your wounds I have been healed. Have been delivered. For I was straying like sheep but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul.2

And Paul said, though You were in the form of God, You did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Yourself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, You humbled Yourself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 3 This is inconceivable to me, but I believe it’s true I believe that for the joy set before You, You endured the Cross and despised the shame and that I am that joy. Or at least, one part of it. Jesus, I’m Yours All that I have, all that I hope, dream, and believe, I lay down at Your feet. For You alone are Lord, God, King, and Savior of the world In Jesus’ name.

  1. Galatians 2:19–20.
  2. 1 Peter 2:23–25.
  3. Philippians 2:6–8.

Watch the Video

Excerpted with permission from It Is Finished by Charles Martin, copyright Charles Martin.

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Your Turn 

Telestai! Jesus gave Himself for us all the way unto death. We who put our faith in Him are saved! Praise Jesus!