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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)

TITLE: Cross Purposes
By Donna Emery
08/18/06


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Cross Purposes

I am the cross where Jesus died. Take a good look at me.

I suppose you could blame me for Jesusí death, but that wouldnít really be fair. After all, do you blame the gun, or the shooter; for a death by shotgun?

If you look at me, youíll see the cross He died on. And yes, I know, it caused Him pain to hang on my wooden arms. I heard Him cry out in pain. I heard Him call out to His Father. I know He died in agony, and that I was the object that led to it.

But take another look; a closer look, and I think youíll see that I was part of Godís message to the world. God sent Jesus to be His Word: to be the Way that He could best communicate His unending love and mercy for the world. And every part of Jesusí life was part of that communication. And I was a big part of the last day of that life. So take another look at me.

One of my pieces of wood stretches downward from heaven, and ends by touching the earth. Just like the One Who hung there; it is the bridge extending between God and His creation.

My other piece of wood stretches outward; like the arms of the One Who wanted to enfold the world in Godís love. It is a picture of the way that He reaches out to all who open their heart to Him.

My beams are fashioned in four directions: north, south, east and west. Thatís how far His love and grace reach. Thatís how far His mercy extends. There is a limit to the length of my beams, but there is no limit to His love.

I didnít ask to be a cross, you know. Someone chose to make me into one. I could have been part of a house, or part of a cart. I could have warmed someone, in a fire. I could have been part of an idol or part of an altar. But someone decided Iíd be a cross. His cross.

To hang on a cross meant to die in disgrace. Only criminals who were considered beneath contempt were executed in this way, but it wasnít a coincidence that Godís Son was put to death in this way. Jesus not only took the worldís sin upon Himself; He also took the disgrace of that sin. All those things that everyoneís done; that they think are too shameful or secret to share with anyone else? He sees those things, yet chose to die for you. He knows those things, and loves you anyway.

Jesus used His hands to heal, and to bring people together. Yet those Hands were wounded with painful nails. They were made temporarily powerless by weapons that were familiar to Him. Did it ever cause you to wonder how He felt: a Carpenter Who was wounded by nails? He knew from the start what His fate would be; did He think of this, as a young man, while He was fashioning things with nails and wood?

Jesus used his feet to walk long distances, and to meet people that others considered to be outcasts and sinners. Yet He came to show them the Way to heaven, and His feet gathered the dust of the many towns that rejected His truths. Those feet were also pierced by nails; He felt the pain of death from head to toe.

I couldnít do anything to help Him, but it wasnít because He was powerless. The Son of God later rose from the shell of His earthly corpse; to glorious New Life at Godís right Hand. But His death was also part of the plan, and as much as it seemed wrong to me Ė this death of the Innocent Ė I had to play the part that destiny had carved, for me.

So look at me. But donít me as the cause of His death. See me as the object that helped Him fulfill His destiny, and provide the entire world with a Way to access Godís Grace.


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This article has been read 912 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt08/25/06
Some pieces of work contain nuggets of gold inside them... I found the paragraphs describing the cross, wonderful.. the connection between heaven and earth and the directions of endless love. I'll see those words now when I look a the cross. Thank you for sharing.
Kristi Wood08/27/06
Great imagery. Loved the pun on "the destiny 'carved' for me" as well as the irony of the carpenter tortured with wood and naiils. Nicely done from a unique point of view!
Rita Garcia08/30/06
Creative! Love this unique view from the cross.
Jan Ross08/30/06
Nice work! :) This would be a wonderful tract -- a beautiful explanation of the cross! There are some punctuation glitches here and there. With that fine-tuned, you have a nice piece! Good for you! :)
Rebecca Livermore08/30/06
I love the way that you write from the perspective of the cross. Very creative!
Brenda Craig08/30/06
I love the unique way you approached this topic. My favorite lines are

My beams are fashioned in four directions: north, south, east and west. Thatís how far His love and grace reach. Thatís how far His mercy extends. There is a limit to the length of my beams, but there is no limit to His love.

Ah, there are no limits to His love. Blessings
Debra Elliott08/31/06
Thought provoking
Ruth Renwick09/02/06
I found this an inspired piece. Enjoyed the juxtapositioning of different images and words. Even the title drew me in - normally "cross purposes" indicates things are working against each other but as you showed, in God's plan it all worked together for a purpose. I never ever thought about Jesus using nails as a carpenter & what it might have meant to him - a revelation! Thanks for this piece. It has given me new perspectives.
Carol Gray09/07/06
Donna, Donna, what an article. We can never read about the cross that Jesus hung on for us, too much. It was very thought provoking and encouraging. Very creative. Keep up the good work. Carol Gray
Clyde Blakely 03/11/07
Wonderful. Jesus was a Carpenter; do you think He might have made His own cross? God bless and keep writing.
Jacquelyn Horne06/04/07
Very inspiring piece. Glad I read it.