I took communion last weekend. The cross, as it should be, was re-printed on my heart. The cross is a universal symbol of hope, peace and joy. Many wear it around their necks to display an allegiance to the One who was murdered on it. Some groups love to depict images of Christ still on the cross. But the good news is He is no longer there. He gave his life so that we could have it. The cross was the journey to a resurrection. That alone is a good word for anyone walking through challenge right now. There is always hope for a resurrection. That is the glory of the Kingdom.
Rightfully, communion narrows my focus to Jesus. It is a powerful means to simplify the good news to one man where I volitionally offer thankfulness and praise. In the past decade I cant think of an Easter Thursday where I have not attended a Maundy Thursday service that reflects on the journey to that barbaric event at Golgotha. The torment Jesus suffered to the cross was immense. The physical flailing he received was unimaginable. History reveals many died after a Roman flogging yet Jesus summoned enough strength to rise from it, carry his cross further up the hill only so he could be crucified in order to become our atoning sacrifice. He became our wrongdoing and sin so we may become the righteousness of God. The exchange is glorious and one that leads to worship and adoration.
In no way do I want to downplay the significance of the events leading up to the cross. Colossians reminds us the cross was the moment in history where the debt of sin and wrongdoing was cancelled. In fact, the power and authority of the enemy was disarmed as Jesus re-claimed the keys that had been taken from Adam and Eve in the Garden so many years before. Without the cross there is no forgiveness, redemption or restoration.
But the Jesus who rose again on the third day is no longer the suffering servant but rather the victorious king. The death and torment He suffered has been replaced with triumph and glory. It is a significant day when a believer renews their thinking to dwell on the resurrection life flowing through their veins. Reflecting on the cross is necessary but pursuing the victorious Christ is the greater option. The bible informs us that a believer’s life will undergo challenges but it during these moments where looking through the cross is pivotal. Jesus suffered so he could be resurrected. Hebrews reminds us powerfully, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus could see through the cross. As he suffocated on that cross carrying the weight of shame and sin of all humanity he endured because he could see beyond it. Through eyes of faith he could envision the stories of redemption, the magnificent restorations and healings, the freedom of accessing heaven on earth, the release of the Holy Spirit and much more. He did not deny his pain, after all, it ultimately killed him. But there was a resurrection life that was to flow again through his veins. He knew it and that spurred Him on.
Whatever challenge or torment you may be experiencing today there is hope if you can see through it. Resurrection awaits you. That is why James can write we can count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds. The trials are not enjoyable if there is no hope. But when you can see through the cross and envision the maturity and completion of your faith, it is possible to arise today and walk through the challenge. No matter the obstacle before you, there is a joy awaiting you. It will be glorious!
Maybe you have become hopeless because vision has dimmed. Chronic sickness can do this. Ongoing situations of disappointment can too. But turn on your faith again. Your healer is alive and well. Your deliverer lives inside of you. Believe God again for your preferred future. Trust His goodness. Recognise the perseverance you display today is part of the process to complete and mature your faith so it lacks nothing. We all want that – a faith that is perfected.
Look through the cross. Set your heart on Him again. Lean into Him. Thank Him in advance for the perfection and completion of your faith. Then keep going and don’t give up. Trust me, the glory on the other side of your challenge will far outweigh this season of difficulty.
Be blessed. Craig