Grace and peace!
As we approach Easter God has me meditating on the meaning of the cross. He said when something is of value to us, when something has meaning to us, we treat it like it does. We tend to it, give attention to it, take care of it. Maybe love it. Dote on it.
We take care of our cars, we might wash it, shine it. Polish the tires. We take care of our family… see to it that needs are met. Remember their birthdays and other special occasions. We take care of our homes. Maybe mow the lawn, clean the house (every now and then). We take care of ourselves. We wash. We get our hair done, nails, shine our shoes and things of that nature. And God says we do it, because it has meaning to us. We care about it.
So then He posed the questions, “when you see the cross do you just see it? Or do you SEE it? Is it just there? Do you see a man hanging on a cross? Do you see JESUS hanging on the cross? Or do you just see the cross? What about when someone is wearing a pendant… do you see the cross and its meaning then? Or do you just see the pendant? The chain?”
God wants to know does the cross have meaning to you? Do you see the nails that were in Jesus’ hands? Do you realize the size they must have been to be pierced through His body? Do you feel the pain and the agony that He must have felt when it happened? What about His feelings… what Jesus might have been feeling? Are you aware of how much it must have hurt Him when God turned away from Him? Do you feel that pain? Could you bear that pain? Does the cross have meaning for you? Do you see the piercing of Jesus heart when He looked at the people who were once shouting Hosanna but were now in the crowd before Him, laughing? Making jokes. Do you see His heart breaking when His own disciple did not want to be a part of Him? Do you see the look on His face when He went back to His disciples and found them sleeping? Do you realize what He must have felt like saying but didn’t? Do you see His tears of blood when He was asking God to remove the cup from Him? Do you see that when you see the cross? Does it have meaning to you?
We need to be mindful of this time of the year and realize that when we see the cross we should see all what it means, all year round. For the disciple of Jesus, Easter is not one day out of the year… it’s an all-the-time event. Every time we pick up our Bible, every time we realize that the grace of God has kept us again, every time we mess up and are able to go and get cleansed, renewed, we need to be mindful of the cross. We need to be mindful of its meaning. Every time we go to church. Every time we come home. Every time we see the cross. Every time. Every circumstance we need to be aware of the meaning of the cross. And it is not so that we can feel guilty or ashamed or sad or depressed, or anything like that, but so that we can appreciate that which has meaning for us. And LIVE like we do. That is the most important part. Jesus made this tremendous sacrifice so that we can have life and that more abundantly. The Bible says that He was able to endure hanging on the cross for the joy that was set before Him. That joy is the smile on our faces. The love of God in our hearts. The knowing that no matter what life brings our way, Jesus has overcome it. Jesus saw the joy of victory in our lives. Our peace. Our total-being. Our salvation.
So I encourage you today, be mindful of the cross and hold dear its meaning. Keep it ever before you that you may have the joy that Jesus died to give you. That’s the beauty of it all.
God is good. And He’s real. And I love Him!
A servant of the Lord,
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Beauty of the Cross
Evelyn Fannell has the true heart of a servant. She spends a great deal of her time assisting friends, family, and others with a variety of plans and projects, always seeking simply to be of help; always going the extra mile. A writer since her youth, in 2008 Evelyn created the blog, But God Is Real, inspired by real life situations and circumstances that speak to the “realness” of God and His intervention in daily life. After the death of her son, Joseph, Evelyn started another blog, In the Shadow of Grief, created to chronicle the emotions and stages of grief so that she could help others through their journey of pain and sorrow. Along with the blog, Evelyn also started a grief support group on Facebook, under the same name, where members can share with one another in a supportive, non-judgmental environment In her spare time, Evelyn enjoys jigsaw puzzles, photography, and planning and creating items for special events. She also serves as First Lady and administrator of her church, On Good Ground Christian Fellowship, in Westampton, NJ. In addition to Joseph, she and her husband, Jeff, have two daughters, Brandi and Jasmine, and a grandson, Christian.