A few years ago my preacher/husband had a cross constructed and placed right in front of the pulpit. He was asked if he wanted it moved to the side because everyone would have to look around it to see him when he preached. He left it there and used that cross as an object lesson.
He mentioned that we love to sing the song that begins, "On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross." But, do we put that cross on a hill too far away?
On this Friday we remember the events of Jesus' death on the cross. We need to move it from that hill far away and examine it up close and personal.
Jesus was God's only Son. The Son had always been. Read John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." How hard it must have been to send His Son on such a mission. God the Father pronounced His love for Jesus - "this is my beloved Son..." Jesus wasn't some angel or extraneously created being. This was His Son.
I have often tried to fully convey this idea when speaking at women's conferences. I will tell the women that I love them but not enough to give my only daughter up for them.
But, God's love didn't stop there. As Christ hung on that cross he cried at one point, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" I don't begin to say that I understand how the whole transaction occured, but at that moment all my sins and all the sins of everyone past, present, and future were put upon Jesus. Being a Holy God, He couldn't look upon the sin, so He was forced to turn His back on His Son. Jesus bore that pain, so we would never have to. "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
So, on the cross Jesus paid my sin debt so I would never have to be separated from God. In essence, there was a chasm separating me from God, and the only acceptable bridge was the cross.
I need to keep the cross near lest I forget about that sacrifice, and I need to keep it near to share what it can do for a lost and dying world separated from God.
What about you? Where's the cross in your life? If it's on a hill too far away, bring it closer and examine it again. Praise God this Easter for providing a bridge.