What do you think of when you see a cross? What emotions do you associate with it? What truths does it bring to mind for you?
Maybe you thought of something like triumph. Or maybe you thought of peace, thankfulness, grace, kindness, confidence, righteousness, or joy. Then again, maybe on the other hand you thought of sorrow, pain, loneliness, fear, punishment, or anger. Being the finite creatures that we are, we’re often only able to see things in one dimension at a time and its hard to live in the present knowledge of the depths of meaning a single thing can hold.
At times it’s easy to focus on what I’ll call the brighter side (joy, happiness…), overlooking the vileness of the cross, the agony of our sin that required it, or the pain of knowing our innocent and Holy Lord (albeit voluntarily) was subjected to a death more gruesome than most can imagine. The cross symbolizes our salvation, along with the world’s rejection of Christ. So, do you feel the darkness of sin when you see the cross?
Other times it’s easier to focus on that darker side, overlooking the unrelenting grace that overcame death…that Christ’s victory was planned and in motion before time began, that our salvation in him is sure and final, and that we have been set free and redeemed in Him! So, are you overwhelmed by that joy when you see the cross?
We are called to do an incredibly hard thing as followers of Christ…we are called to live in both the brightest and darkest of truths, all found in the cross.