Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Week Reflections: The Cross

Why do we celebrate the passover? The lent? The cross? 

I am not very good at theology. But one thing I know with certainty: Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross. Thus, declaring us not guilty.

The cross is a symbol of God's unfathomable love for mankind that He sacrificed His son. That Jesus chose to be human to feel our suffering, our pain and carry the weight of our sins. And yet by that cross, with the blood and body of Jesus Christ, our sins were paid for by God Himself. When the ultimate penalty of sin is death, Christ chose to die for us so that we live an eternal life with Him when judgment comes. 

You can say that our sin is genetic. Even before we were born, we already have sinned. So, I think it's a misnomer to call someone innocent. Technically, nobody is. Adam and Eve had made it happen. 

Year after year we celebrate the fact that we are forgiven. That's one glorious acknowledgment. For over 2000 years we've done the ritual -- the reenactment, the remembrance, the message. In recent years it has taken several forms. 

There were those fanatics who volunteer to be nailed on the cross. I don't know what's inside their heart. I just hope that it's not to show the world that they can play Jesus and be a redeemer. 

There also are the devotees who observe the holy week with solemnity, sacrifice (usually of abstaining meat), visiting churches and participating in the station of the cross. Those 14 fateful steps that led to Jesus' death. 

But what is so amazing about God's love is the fact that He died for us even in the face of betrayal by one of His friends and our total unworthiness. Yet by His grace and love, He suffered and died to erase the sins of the world -- past, present and future. 

And the most amazing thing is He rose from the dead on the third day to fulfill His promise. God does not break His promises. 

Over time however the message got lost, jumbled and complicated. The simplicity and depth of this one saving act got lost in the drama, religious or otherwise. 

In this fast food generation, a movement has been created -- the one simple church. I don't know much about it but it's been three years now that I've actively seen them around this time. They've pioneered The Walkway. It's a modern station of the cross sort of thing that aims to simplify the message of the celebration and help anyone in meditating and reflecting of its meaning. 

It assists people in walking back to those final 14 stations of Jesus' walk to Calvary. There are tarps with messages that help crystallize the messages. And an invitation.
"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and not by yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV). 

The greatest gift God wants us to receive is the gift of eternal life. And that is His invitation. Right at this very moment, we can all pray to receive Jesus Christ, as our Lord and savior. And His death by the cross will never be in vain. For His love endures forever.

Have you received Him yet? Rejoice! God has risen!



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