I can’t stand horror movies. They are too scary for my liking. Spooky music. Dark roads and buildings. Creepy things coming out of nowhere. Bloody, gruesome deaths that disfigure people’s faces and bodies. I really don’t get what some people see in horror movies.
From childhood, we see paintings and pictures of Jesus on the cross. The little drops and spots of blood we see in these pictures, aren’t an accurate image of the pain and agony Jesus went through as He was nailed to the cross. When Isaiah 53 describes the death of Jesus, it tells us that as people looked at Him, they hid their faces, they turned away (Isaiah 53:4). Much like the kind of reaction you get when a horror film is on; people covering their faces or moving away from the TV screen until that frightful scene is over. Though the death of Jesus was painful, bloody and nauseating, Jesus wasn’t trying to create a horror scene or film by His death. The suffering and disfigurements He went through on the cross, was to show us the depth of God’s love for us and to give us victory over everything holding us down and keeping us from being who God created us to be.
There is no blessing, no testimony that beats what Jesus did for us on the cross. We should forever be filled with gratitude for the blessings that flow into our lives through the travails of the cross. No matter how far we have strayed from God, the death of a loving Saviour on the cross, brings us back to God. Even the worst of sinners with a track record of mean, shameful sins, can receive freedom from guilt and condemnation, can find mercy and forgiveness at the cross. When doctors are confused, at their wits end and don’t have a solution, we can look to the cross; the place for healing from known and unknown ailments, mild or terminal diseases. Even if all your enemies line up at your door or all the powers of darkness gather for a meeting with your name as the agenda, no scheme of hell, no evil plot, can overcome the power and victory you have in the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. Though troubles and trials may come our way, though there are storms, earthquakes, pandemics and shakings all around the world, as we look to Jesus who finished and defeated all manner of problems on the cross, we find safety, we are enveloped in God’s peace, and we receive grace to overcome the difficulties, dangers and hazards of life.
The message of the cross is the power of God to save to the uttermost those under the captivity of sin (1 Corinthians 1:18). The beauty of the cross is the wisdom of God to solve and redeem irredeemable situations (John 11:25-26, 43-44). The emblem of the cross is God’s peace and love (Colossians 1:20, John 3:16). The seal of the cross is the blood of a conquering King who has conquered and triumphed over principalities and powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15, Revelation 12:11). The essence of the cross is to enjoy an unhindered and unbroken relationship with God (Philippians 3:10).
May we never undermine the sufferings and sacrifice of the cross of Christ by failing to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord, by not bothering to preach the message of salvation to the lost, and by not living our lives in a way that it points others to the cross. True disciples of Christ are not those who wear cross necklaces (Matthew 16:24), but are those who deny themselves the passing pleasures of sin, take up and spread the message of the cross with their words and with their lives.
PHOTO CREDIT: Aaron Burden @ Unsplash