Not a Wound and Not a Weight

I don't know about others, but I have a confession to make. When I say it, let it sink in: I used to walk away from hearing (or remembering) the story of the Cross with a distinct feeling of heaviness, not a distinct feeling of overwhelming love. I would feel shackled to a mysterious burden, a darkness, and it never occurred to me to question it.

Now, I don't want to say that the actual events of the Day of the Cross should be a pleasant "memory" for us, but the Cross should very definitely unlock us from our weights and our shame. The Cross should be our freedom. And true freedom is meant to be felt, like when a cool wind lifts from us a veil of oppressive humidity. True freedom is deep and fresh and is known by those who have it by it's stark contrast to anything that is not freedom.

When we come to the Cross, we shouldn't carry away from it the weight it was designed to relieve, the shame it was determined to destroy. We, as children of the King, shouldn't be consumed with thoughts of judgment and our unrighteousness, because the Cross settles these things. We should carry away from the Cross the absolute rest of knowing we are forgiven. The comforting freedom of knowing we are loved. The stubborn confidence of knowing that God accepts us as righteous. That what God believes of us is true of us in actuality—not just in theory.

We should not carry away from the Cross what we brought with us to the Cross.

My concept of the Cross was sick for a very long time. I felt as if it were a wound in my memory I was trying very hard to imagine was not a wound.

Let it be a jewel and not a wound.

And if it isn't for you, then change whatever you have to about what you believe to see that it is. Because whatever the Cross is or isn't, it must be your liberty from the old human and filth. It should be above all things the inauguration of your rest. It is a symbol of your freedom. Not a symbol of your failure. It should stand for God's love. Not for your inadequacy. It should remind you of your new humanity. Not of your "old man."

But this means that you must never, never conceive of the Cross apart from the Resurrection. They are not separate elements of your redemption.

The Cross is the dying of the twisted child squashing spiders in his self-made cell.* The Resurrection is the creation of a new kind of humanity—a child rejoicing in life and dancing in the light.

We are not just wiped-clean or cured versions of our old selves. We are brand new beings never dirtied or twisted. We are reborn. We are new creations. And, in the final resurrection, the remnants of our old selves, these bodies and minds, will slough off and be replaced with new ones, as the birthing that has begun will be completed.

Think about it.


*   See "A Letter to American Boys", a short story by George MacDonald. Read it online. Listen to the free audiobook. Review it.


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2 comments:

  1. Jonathan Mon Jan 12, 12:16:00 PM EST

    I love it...a concept either lost or never found in many people. I too have been guilty of hearing the story of the Cross and coming away feeling completely undeserved and unworthy. Though it's true that I'm both of those things, Christ's death liberates us from having to dwell on that so we can simply accept it and move on. Well played, Dave. Couldn't have put it better any other way.

     
  2. Kent Fri Feb 13, 06:39:00 PM EST

    Dave, isn't it a wonderful day when these shifts begin to happen in our minds and hearts? It really can change everything if we allow it to be what it really was/is.

    Truly Good News