When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

crossA single wordless symbol tells the whole story of God loving people back into His arms.

The cross.

Anyone, anywhere, any time can look at a cross and know that God could not have loved us more.

Jesus said it was only when He was lifted up in death on the cross that people could really see life as it was meant to be. This single, intense beacon of light piercing the pervasive darkness has been and will always be what draws people to the loving heart of Father.

What we see when we look at that cross makes a difference.

Do we see a poor dying man–innocent victim of a vicious mob of insecure moralists and irreverent heathens? Unqualified good impaled on unmitigated evil?

Or can we see a determined King–enthroned on severe mercy, incomparable victor over fanatical religion and tyrannical anarchy? Indescribable love garroting inconceivable wickedness!

What I see when I look at that cross makes me different.

  • I see the cost of my sin–He was held there to crush what held me
  • I see the source of my hope–He was isolated so I would never be alone
  • I see the face of my Father–the face of love turned away from Him and toward me
  • I see the extremity of His mercy–He readily embraced death so I could really know life

But I also see myself…in the telling faces of each of the people at the foot of the cross.

You see, I have been the mocking soldier, the railing prisoner and the self-righteous religionist. I have been the disappointed disciple wondering if I had believed in unrealistic hope. I have been the shattered mother, the confused Magdalene and the devastated friend.

The haunting question from the old spiritual “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” is answered with an unqualified “Yes!”

The scandal of grace is that I was there, in all of those faces, with all of those duplicitous intentions and mixed motivations–and He still looked on me and prayed to our Father, “forgive him“.

And He did.

That is why mostly, what I see when I look to the cross is…beauty.

The exquisite, excruciating wonder of love that knows no limits.

For me, this truly is Good Friday.

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