Friday, April 18, 2014

The Power of the Cross: Fashion edition

It's Good Friday! Well, every Friday seems good as we get to head into a weekend and a chance (possibly) to relax. However, in a religious sense, we celebrate this day mostly, and especially, because we know what's coming. As Tony Campolo says, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!"

This AM I put on one of my favorite necklaces then I found earrings that mostly matched. They are crosses. Today I guess more than usual I was thinking about why I like them. I've heard people mention why would someone wear such a symbol? If you really think about it, in ancient days a cross was a torture device. I would never wear an electric chair symbol so why a cross?

A cross symbolizes the physical torture that Christ (and others) went through to bring death to a body. In the situation of Jesus though, there was additional mental and emotional struggle realizing that He was separated from His Father during that time. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the Trinity. God is God AND Jesus AND the Holy Spirit? How do you turn your back on yourself?

I don't know if I honestly love anyone enough to be willing to physically die for them. I would love to think that if in a situation where I had to make a decision I could selflessly do that. But honestly? I'm not sure.

In most cases, a person condemned to the electric chair or death by injection has been found guilty. They may have murdered someone. We are worried about if they feel pain as they leave this earth. That their death is more humane than the death(s) they may have caused. Jesus did not get that same consideration.

I may not be able to grasp all of it, but the part I do understand is that Jesus was willing to put His life on a cross for sins we had not even committed yet. He was betrayed by one of His 12 closest friends. He was judged unfairly. He was whipped. He was NAILED to a cross through his wrists and ankles. He was made fun of. He was spit upon. The humiliation alone makes me feel horrible.

It does not matter if I/we can figure it all out in our logical minds. He was willing to do that FOR ME. For you. Whether you "believe" it or not. He knew that not everyone would. He did it anyway.

So I put on my cross jewelry. I'm glad I live in a country where I am free to express my faith with outward symbols. I will picture the cross as God at the top. Jesus on one side and the Holy Spirit on the other. I will not downplay the inhumanity He suffered. I will recognize the fact that there is spiritual significance to this day.....more than just my fashion choices.

May you have a most blessed weekend. Here in Michigan, the sun is shining FINALLY! The grass is getting greener. I have noticed green stirrings from the ground and even some daffodils. SPRING is on the way. Resurrection Sunday is on the way. Hallelujah!

If you have questions about believing in God and salvation, I may not have all the answers you seek. I am willing to help you search! If you're not at the point of "feeling" or "seeing" God, start a conversation like you would with a friend. ASK Him to reveal himself to you. Then keep your eyes, heart and spirit open and not try to explain away what might seem like coincidence. God SHOUTS through Creation. He whispers to your soul.

I was just going to find a verse from this passage, but the whole thing is worth a read. A prophecy foretold, fulfilled in Jesus:

Isaiah 53 (NIV)

Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression (arrest) and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.