When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 

Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV, 1978)

Books have been written, sermons have been preached and movies have been made in the attempt to capture the drama surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. As well there should be for there has never been, nor will there ever be, a demonstration of unconditional love that required the sacrifice of God’s only Son to forever pay the price for the sins of all mankind. Yet, amidst of all the drama and theological implications of the weekend of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, we have an event that was, at its very core, intensely personal.

As Paul writes above, the cross of Jesus was personal on two crucial levels of human understanding. First, to comprehend the hopelessness of our condition, Paul reminds us that we were not bad people needing to be made good, but we were DEAD people needing to be made ALIVE. Such a resurrection was not possible due to our inability to satisfy the demands of the law pertaining to our sin. As only Paul could describe, he says that Jesus did what only He could do by taking all the sin, all the shame, all the filth that we do not want anyone to know about, and He nailed it to the cross. The moment we suddenly realize the depth of our hopelessness and the degree of our sin, we suddenly see that it was not the Roman soldiers that put Jesus on the cross. It was our sin and, whether we intended it to be or not, it was horribly personal.

And finally, the cross itself was the public display of the futility of Satan’s plan to overcome God’s love for humanity. On Friday, human eyes thought they witnessed the cruel, brutal destruction of God’s plan of salvation. Days later they understood that Jesus’ final words, “It is finished,” had been an announcement to Satan that his hold on humanity was broken. That sounds personal!