Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alphabet of the Cross

I am partial to the alphabet for many reasons, but mainly because it is basic to reading and learning just like the cross of Jesus Christ is basic to my faith. Somehow it seemed natural to combine the two. I hope someday to publish an illustrated version of this as an alphabet book. Until then I am thrilled to display the alphabet quilt shown above that was made for me by a mother of a couple of my students. My word for each letter of "Alphabet of the Cross" is stitched into each letter block of the quilt. I hope that you are blessed as you read this.

Alphabet of the Cross
by Sharlyn Guthrie

A is for atonement.
According to Mosaic law, only an unblemished lamb could atone for sin. Jesus, the holy Lamb of God became our atonement.

B is for blood.
Just as the blood of the lamb was poured onto an altar, Jesus’ blood poured from His hands, feet, and side as He hung on the cross.

C is for crucifixion.
Crucifixion was a cruel, slow, and humiliating punishment that ended in death on a cross, hours or even days after it began. Jesus was crucified.

D is for disciples.
Jesus ate supper with His twelve disciples the night before He was betrayed. He asked them to remember His death by breaking and eating bread (a symbol of His body), and drinking wine (a symbol of His blood). Believers in Jesus continue to observe the Lord’s table or communion to remember His death.

E is for Eli.
Eli is the Hebrew name for God. From the cross “…Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) God could not look upon His own son because of the sin -mine and yours- that He took with Him to the cross.

F is for forgiveness.
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,” Jesus cried from the cross. He even forgave the sins of the thief hanging next to Him.

G is for Golgotha.
Golgotha, “the place of the skull,” was the hill outside of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.

H is for the Holy of Holies.

A heavy veil in the temple separated God’s people from the Holy of Holies…God’s dwelling place. As Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom, ending forever our separation from the presence of God.

I is for “It is finished.”
Jesus spoke these words just before he died.

J is for Judas.
Judas, one of the twelve disciples, betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

K is for King of the Jews.
Jesus’ accusers crowned Him with thorns and hung a plaque over His head that read, “King of the Jews”.

L is for lots.
The soldiers stripped Jesus, and then cast lots, gambling to see who would win His clothing.

M is for mocking.

“The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!’” (Luke 23:36-37)

N is for the ninth hour.

It was the ninth hour when Jesus died crying, “…Father, unto Your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

O is for offering.
Jesus became the offering for our sins, making the many offerings required of people and priests before His death unnecessary to continue.

P is for pierce.
After Jesus died, the soldiers pierced his side with a sword. Water and blood gushed out, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, and proving that Jesus was dead.

Q is for quake.
As Jesus died the earth quaked, rocks split, and tombs were opened.

R is for resurrection.
Many saints were resurrected. Their tombs were opened by the earthquake.

S is for sin.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:21 )

T is for tomb.
The tomb where Jesus was laid was sealed and guarded. But He arose! Death lost its power!

U is for Undeserved Love.
Jesus shed His blood so that sinners like me could live. That is undeserved love -incredible grace!

V is for Via Dolorosa.

The Via Dolorosa is “the painful way” that Jesus took to Golgotha. Although His death was agonizing, there was no other way.

W is for weeping women.
Women who loved Jesus wept as they watched His crucifixion.
Later, after His resurrection, He appeared to them first. Their weeping turned to jubilation.

X is for example.
Jesus lived a perfect life. Although He was tempted, He never sinned. He is our perfect example.

Y is for yield.
Jesus yielded to His Father’s will. He asks you and I to do the same. He will put our old, sinful selves to death and raise us into a new life.

Z is for Zion.
Zion is Jerusalem, the city near Golgotha. Some day soon Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will return to Zion’s Hill to establish His kingdom. We watch, hope, and yearn for that day.


  1. Sharlyn,

    What a great way to teach kids the alphabet but so much more behind the meaning of each and every letter of the alphabet! Loving this!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  2. X is also for "Excellent."

    Excellent, beautiful post.

  3. Hi,Sharlyn,
    What a beautiful way to express the alphabet in the light of His love for each of us. Thank you so very much.


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