Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
By Brenda Kern
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This was the day, both terrible and wonderful. The gap would be closed, but at a cost.
His precious Son had taken on the responsibility, and had begun at the logical beginning, becoming like them.
He grew up and learned about men, becoming a man Himself.
When the time had come, He chose disciples and began His brief interval of sharing the news, letting the world know that sin had separated man from God.
They were surprised, believing that they upheld the law, and regularly sacrificed animals for their atonement--wasn't that enough? And what was this claim of His, that He was the 'Son of Man' AND the Son of God? Wasn't that blasphemy?
The clash was inevitable, the result predictable, at least from the viewpoint of mankind. He threatened their system, their position, everything. He had to be eliminated.
But God knew the mix of divinity and humanity in His son, and knew that even for <i>Him</i> nothing was a given. He would have to offer Himself up; He'd have to submit His will and become the new sacrifice, bearing the consequences of sin.
So, everything had hung in the balance just hours ago, as Jesus knelt, and bowed, and prayed, pouring His heart out to His God, His Father. He yielded, and even in the garden began shouldering a weight much heavier than the physical wood of the cross would ever be.
And through the night and morning, through trial after trial and then His flogging, He let the plan unfold.
A part of the cross, the instrument of His execution, was placed on His bleeding back, and He took it. He was bowed down with the knowledge, bent over with the burden, but carried on.
Nails pierced Him, and He allowed them.
He was lifted up and pain engulfed Him, but He did not reject it.
Every movement and every moment was prophecy fulfilled.
God watched the unwatchable, and observed as His son bore the unbearable.
The last shout left His lips and He died. That day, both terrible and wonderful, finally ended.
Soon after, an entirely new day dawned.
Jesus had risen, and death had been defeated.
The news spread, along with God's message.
Jesus was lifted up on a cross so mankind could be lifted from their sin.
The horizontal positioning of the crossbar underscored how Jesus was suspended in space, above the earth but still a member of humanity, below the heavens but still divine.
He was suspended in time, as well, as the earth went dark and a division slashed itself through history. No longer was animal sacrifice necessary, because of the once-for-all sacrifice of the Lamb.
The vertical piece of the cross pointed the way, while also supporting the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
His arms were spread wide, so we could see His love.
Will we see it? Will we lift our eyes up to Him and find forgiveness?
From His viewpoint in heaven, God still watches and waits, even today.
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