Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the cross in the midst of chaos

Where do you turn in times of trouble? When the bottom falls out of your world, who do you look to?
In good times or bad, we need look no further than the cross of Christ.

But isn’t the cross a thing of the past? When people go through terrible times, shouldn’t we point them to a future in heaven, instead? The hope of heaven can be comforting indeed, but in the midst of suffering and pain, and even death, we need to know that someone is there with us. Someone strong, someone we can depend on, someone who will never leave us nor forsake us. The cross of Christ reminds us that since Jesus died for us in our place,  since He went through the ultimate in suffering and pain on our behalf, and because He even tasted death and landed safely on the other side,  He is able to give us comfort and strength, to be with us and help us in our time of need.

Just imagine standing at the foot of the cross on the day Christ died. To those gathered there it would have seemed like the worst possible thing that could have ever happened. But Christ's death and resurrection turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as Jesus brought life out of death, order out of chaos, hope out of utter despair. In the cross, God in His wisdom has taken a symbol of pain, suffering, and death, and turned it into a symbol of forgiveness, life, and salvation for all.

Isaiah 61:1-4

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."

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