The cross has always been a mystery to me. When I was younger I would hold the emblems during communion and pray that God would help me understand – that He would make it personal for me. I could understand that if I were Mary that she would be tremendously grieved at the loss of her son. If I were a disciple, I would be lost. But Jesus was not my family, or my teacher. Who is He to me? I have tried really hard to place myself back there, but I can’t. Because I don’t need to be back there. This is 2015. I need the cross here. What I know is that these nails have my name on them, and this blood that has been spilled should have been mine. We may not use crucifixion anymore, but the fact remains… the penalty was mine to pay. But Jesus, who I didn’t love or follow, out of an enormous heart of love for me, paid my debt so that I might live. This cross is not a symbol of death to me. It is a symbol of life! But more than that, it is a door to a new life – a life where I am able to connect directly to God and enjoy all of the blessing that comes from that connection. Jesus was not my son or my teacher, but He became my Saviour, Redeemer, and Friend. He is my source of life and love to whom I will forever the grateful!
Trust. It is one of our fundamental struggles. The disciples were struggling. Jesus was in the tomb. It appeared as though evil had won. The bad guys were rejoicing. They were mocking them. The world was convinced that Jesus was nothing more than a man who could not even save Himself. Satan was whispering in their ears… “It was a good run, but it’s over… He wasn’t really God… You should be embarrassed – putting all your hope in Him!” They would begin to doubt. Even though Jesus told them what would happen, they didn’t really believe it. This was not how they thought things would end. Were they wrong to believe at all?
Aren’t we the same? When things do not go the way we expect we start to doubt God. Or blame Him. And then we hear that same voice whispering doubt in our ears and mocking us. Evil is winning and the world is against us. Satan hasn’t changed these 2000 years.The same lies and doubt he whispered to them, he whispers to us. We haven’t changed. The same fears and self doubt that the disciples experienced, we experience too.
But God wasn’t done. In the next few days He would move with such great power that the world would never be the same. And today, we need to remember – God hasn’t changed either!