Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
- TITLE: The Beacon ( A Meditation)
By Sue Stone
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It is the symbol of defeat, the Cross, the tool of death reserved for a slave, a bandit, a rebel. And yet, for those of us who follow Jesus, it is the symbol of the very gate of life itself.
Come and see it for what it really is - it is a beacon, placed on the ridge of a hill against a midnight landscape. It burns with the life that God offers each of us who will answer, "Come, follow me." Unquenchable in its light, it is the one unmistakeable sign that God calls us, loves us, wants us. We can choose to cling to the darkness that surrounds us, where we grope, like blind men, searching for that which will never satisfy, or turn and look, and follow it's bright beacon home.
The Cross is the place where heaven and earth come together, where Jesus, burdened with the sins of an entire world, offers all up: His freedom, His dignity, His honor, His mother, His comfort, His life - and in dying, opens the path to God, long sealed by the choice for sin. The upright reaches from the depths of Sheol, rising up, like Jacob's ladder to the heights of heaven, for all the darkness that ever was conceived or done is carried on this beam. No dark deed is hidden, or left behind or ignored, but by the sacrifice of our Lord, all can be forgiven, for His blood was spilled to redeem all who will answer Him. The crossbeam reaches from horizon to horizon, welcoming all who would take refuge in the open embrace of a loving God, no matter where they are from or where they started.
The center where these two beams meet, where once beat and bled the heart of Him who lived to redeem us becomes the new mercy seat, where we truly can find the peace that passes understanding.
There, at the foot of that cross, we come to the place where all the petty self-deceiving games we play must end. Look up into the eyes of Him who hangs there, who chose this path of death to draw all men to himself, and see - He knows you for who you are, naked, stripped of all pretences, and still He loves you, is there to save you, is suffering that you might live.
You have two choices, there at the foot of the cross - fall to your knees in gratitude and awe and amazement and repentence and acknowledge the wonder of how God-With-Us is willing to go to such extremes to redeem you, or turn your back and walk back into the darkness.
He will not stop you if you turn to leave, but try as you might, as you grope across the midnight, you will not find another beacon to lead you home.
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