Today we give praise and thanksgiving to God for the beauty and wonder of the cross that hangs in our sanctuary. We give thanks for the crafting of this wonderous item from the wood of God’s earth. We glance, look, and stare upon it with awe and wonder.
Jesus’ death on the cross is the core theme of Scripture. God’s story is brought to this point in time, He surrounds His story at a climax of high drama. We are familiar with the events that took place during this high drama; the garden where Jesus’ sweat was drops of blood, the trials during which Jesus was dramatically mocked and beaten, the soldiers continuing the mocking and beating with whips into which stones, thorns, and nails were woven, Jesus in pain with crimson blood covering His body, and Jesus’ cry “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”
Grace abounds as we know that God declares us not guilty. God didn’t overlook your sins, he didn’t punish you, instead he found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. The climax of God’s story is the day that Christ took away your sins.
How can we gaze upon this instrument of death and see beauty? Grace? Salvation? In Acts chapter 2 Peter’s sermon extends the invitation of grace. Peter tells us all to turn back to God, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins will be forgiven, and it is then you will be given the Holy Spirit.
When does Grace happen to us? It is the day when we look upon the beauty and the supreme gift that God has given us on the cross.
Pastor Sallie Rathbone