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Kindness Korner

The Crucifix is Powerful

The Importance of The Crucifix
The empty cross, the one on which Jesus died, is the outstanding symbol of Jesus’ dying for us.  Jesus was removed from that terrible device, and placed in a tomb which was then sealed and guarded.   Then Easter!  Easter is the heart of Christian life.  Death is defeated!  A new age is inaugurated.  The resurrection of the body is now an event we celebrate and anticipate.  So the Cross is properly vacant.  Christ is risen!  He is not hanging on the cross.
While the simple vacant cross is a powerful message The Crucifix, Jesus on the Cross, carries powerful and important teaching.  Looking at the Lord Jesus hanging there in terrible agony announces God’s love in a powerful way.  It speaks a message sometimes overlooked when we focus on the cross without Jesus on it.  It is the message of God’s love, God’s pain.  It is a graphic proclamation of total love.
It is appropriate and good to appreciate and love the Crucifix.  It is a lesson about love.  What greater love is possible than that—dying, voluntarily. Yes, being put to death, in a terribly painful way, on behalf of others. That is love!  And it shows us in the extreme what the bottom line in our own lives must be.  We are called to live that way too- not go to the cross literally but we are urged to leave our comfortableness to help others. 
Every time we reach out and lift another person in some way we are dying for them.  Every tiny, medium sized, or major action of giving up time, money, energy, a preference, to help someone else is a form of dying for others.  When we focus on the dying Jesus, The Crucifix, we see a reminder of where our lives must be aimed.  The Crucifix graphically speaks of true love. 
Jesus said:  “If anyone desires to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever desires to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”  (Mt. 16:24).  That is the remarkable thing in all this.  We find meaning, purpose, vitality, and hopefulness, in carrying the agenda of dying for others, every day of the week.  We come to life in fresh ways ourselves when we lift others in any way with words, or kindness, with friendliness or interest, with admiration or appreciation.  We find life in giving love which gives life.
The Crucifix magnifies Jesus final words: “It is finished.”    All the preoccupation with sin, guilt and punishment was now over.  “It is finished.”  A new agenda is ours: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  We are called to bring heaven to earth.  We are called to build the Kingdom through love.  Sin is forgiven.  Loving-kindness is now our agenda, our mission.

1 comment:

  1. Your messages always cause me to think. So often your subjects are ones I have been trying to teach to help people discover. In the case of "dying," I don't find many people who are eager to die, so I've switched to the phrase, "giving your life", which to me says the same thing in a way that seems more palatable. Jesus gave His life that we might live when He could have run, been quiet, or tried to defend Himself. He knew He possessed an inexhaustible supply of LIFE because He is one with God, the Life-giver. Jesus died that WE might have His life and have it abundantly. The exciting thing to me is, we can experience that LIFE when we let it flow through us bringing joy and peace to others, because we are giving our life when we do.

    I often tell people, "If you have Jesus, you have an inexhaustible supply of LIFE, so give IT away!" Then I tell them that every time we reach out to another with our time, talent, touch, tears, or tender care, we are giving our life to and for that person. That is what brings the Kingdom on earth. That is Eternal Life. Life without end because it is His Life, and that is inexhaustible. I've learned that 'giving my life' does not diminish it, but rather it increases my life abundantly.

    Thank you for always helping me to see something from a little different angle. It helps give me eyes to see.