For many years when I saw a decorative cross in a gift shop, I bought it either for a gift or for myself.
One place I lived, I had quite a nice collection decoratively displayed on my living room wall. When I moved to my current residence, that didn’t work quite so well and those crosses are stored for the present time.
However, last fall while on a trip to Hocking Hills, we had dinner in a favorite restaurant there. They have a good buffet and diners can also visit their nice gift shop. It’s a pleasant place to spend a bit of time and money.
Before leaving for home the next day, I paid a second visit to the gift shop as I thought of something I saw that would make a nice Christmas gift. While there, I saw a glass cross fixed for hanging and bought it for my roommate also for Christmas.
She was delighted! Each part of the cross is prism cut so it would give off a variety of colors when the sun hit it. I hung it in the living room window never expecting to see its true beauty because a porch clear across the living room area would block the sun.
I don’t know if I had even noticed the prism cut of its glass parts. But one recent day when Kelly and I returned from the nursing home, my roommate was all excited because she had seen several beautiful crosses coming from the prism all over the room.
Now, every time the sun hits the front of the house, we look for the crosses. Because we both know Jesus, we are reminded of His beauty – not the “beauty” of the cross He bore for us.
A couple of weeks ago, my niece with whom I have renewed contact after years of silence sent me the following from her meditations and writing. (Used here with permission.) As you read it, you won’t see any beauty in the cross but do let it speak to your heart.
“Imagine Jesus’ walk after the whipping He endured- the weakness of His body.
“Imagine the blood draining down His back. Now, imagine as He carried that rough hewn cross, The weight of it digging into His already raw skin. Imagine adding splinters in His neck and shoulders as the weight of it digs into His skin with each step. Imagine the physical agony as He walked through the streets of Jerusalem, And on to Golgotha, a road that felt longer with each step.
“Now, focus your imagination on His feelings. Imagine a mere five days before this walk, ALL the accolades He received, crowds calling out , ‘Hosanna!’ And the palm fronds… And now, the brutal rejection He feels. He walks so much more slowly with the weight of the cross. The weight of all the hate that is spewed at Him with every single step.
“Imagine the weights of both together, Add another kind of pain- His heartbreak as He carried all our sin.
“Three kinds of pain equals agony…
“Now focus on this: Jesus chose the pain of this walk He chose it for you and me.”
All so very true! But not the end of the story because following His death on the cross and His burial in a borrowed grave, He arose! He was resurrected. He lives!
We serve a risen Savior. He has chosen you. He died that horrible death for you. If you have not already done so, speak to Him and invite Him into your heart today.