Friday, February 26, 2016

Near the Cross

Most folks would rather sing, "On a hill far away,..." than "..near the cross."  When it comes to the cross, far away is better than near.   When it is far away, it seems like a small icon on the horizon.  Kinda like the ones we see in the bottom corner of a computer screen.  Benign is how it appears.  Not much to it.  But, near is different.  Near reveals things not seen from a distance.  Near shows us the dying form of One who has suffered beyond the boundaries of endurance.  Near brings too many horrible things into plain view.  Far away is comfortable.  Near is painful.

So, do something uncomfortable this Lent.  Find some time to be near the cross.  Maybe today.  Maybe now.  If not, then soon.  But, find some time to be near the cross.  Sit quietly as one very near that cross of Calvary.  See those things which are not seen when the cross is far away.  See the blood coming from the nails in His feet and hands.  See the blue bruises all over His body.  See the gashes across His skin from a whip with iron pieces in the end.  See the chest rising and falling as life seeks to seep out of a beaten body.  See the eyes as they look around from face to face.  Feel the spit as He gasps and struggles to breathe.  Hear the words uttered from deep in His soul to those watching and to the Father.  Feel the darkness that overcomes that place. 

Ask God's Spirit to guide your mind and your heart as you envision this sacrifice on the cross.  Seek nothing but the moment of experiencing what it is like to be near the cross.  See Him.  See the Holy One.  See the Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world, yours and mine.  See Him.  See the love being made known.  Know that it was all necessary because of sin, yours and mine.  Be near the cross for a time.  Weep and mourn.   But, most of all choose to live.  It is why is He went to that place for you and for me.

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