y Barri Cae Seif

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, Yeshua, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

~ Hebrews 12:2 ~

Growing up Jewish, the Cross meant nothing to me. I remember sitting in a church service, honoring an invitation from a friend to come to her church. Looking up and seeing that massive Cross did not move me at all. It was a decoration on the wall and it was for THEM, not for me. I even shunned the Cross. It was not until salvation that I realized that the Cross is God’s ultimate act of love for US.

The Hebrew word for the Cross is Hah-Tzlahv. It has three Hebrew consonants. The last two letters are a lamed and a vet. What is of interest is that the lamed and the vet also spell lev, the Hebrew word for "heart," and are also the consonants in the English word "love." I cannot even think of the Hebrew word for the Cross anymore without thinking that the last two letters in Hebrew mean "heart." What love of God!

When God gives us the Cross, it is always done in love. It is a matter of the heart. Our Father is glorified in our embrace of the Cross. God has His holy nature; we have our human nature. He is perfect; we fail. The Cross is His tool of love for us.

Heaven and earth intersected at Golgotha. It is at that intersection where we find healing and reconciliation with God.

God required blood. When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague will not be upon you to destroy you… (Exodus 12:13). Because God loves us so much, He provided this beautiful plan for us to be reconciled to Him, through the death of His Son, Yeshua.

There is power that is attached to the Cross because God enables us to endure that which He has called us to suffer. We are appointed to suffer. As Paul noted, Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up which is lacking in Messiah's afflictions (Colossians 1:24).

He allows us to endure suffering in the chastisement of the Cross. The Cross is never easy, and that is just how God meant it to be. Yeshua Jesus, our Savior, endured the Cross, putting up with the shame. Because prisoners were crucified naked, it is assumed that Yeshua hung naked on the Cross. There was always shame regarding the Cross. If one loses a job, one feels ashamed that they could have prevented that dismissal. If one goes through a divorce, one feels ashamed and searches the heart, wondering if they could have done anything to prevent it. If one has a child who goes astray, one feels ashamed that they did not do a better job of raising the child.

Joy is found in the embrace of the Cross. Hebrews 12 also tells us that for the joy set before him, Jesus Yeshua endured the cross. When we know that we are in the center of God's will, even when He has called us to suffer, that is the most beautiful place that we could be. We find new courage when we embrace the Cross.

Finally there is the love of the cross; the heart of the cross. It was for us that Messiah Jesus laid down His life. He, in His perfectness, took on our imperfectness. He, Divinity, took on our fallenness, all for love. He loves you.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

~ 1 Corinthians 1:18 ~

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

~ Colossians 2:13-15 ~

Glory to the Lamb of God!


Barri Cae Seif holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from
Trinity Theological Seminary.
Other devotionals by
Barri Cae may be found at

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