The Growing Love for This Ugly Cross
The Apostle Paul in all of his travels with all of his wise teaching simply had this for the Corinthians. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2. That’s it. The only thing that mattered is Jesus, the one who was crucified. Paul stated this also to the Corinthian church, This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:25. Oh this cross! Everything hinges on it.
It does for so many of you too. As you shared your stories with us.
–John Amodea: "The ugly cross is a reminder of the price God paid for our sin, inadequacies and selfishness. But it's also a reminder of God's love for us and the lengths He would go to for us. Like sin, this cross is ugly, it's heavy, it's baron and it has no life in it--until Sunday when death becomes life and ugly and baron become beautiful and complete."
--Anonymous: "This is something I learned before this ugly cross became a part of our Sunday worship but stuck with me. Something I learned from our Parenting 2nd Hour Small group out of the book we are reading:
But it’s important to understand that although regret is a sign of a humble heart, it is dangerous and debilitating to live in regret. Living in regret robs you of your confidence. Living in regret renders you timid. Living in regret kidnaps your courage. Living in regret weakens or steals your hope. Living in regret drags the past into the present. Living in regret even drags the past into the future. And for all of its remembering, regret can be tragically forgetful. What is it that regret tends to forget? Regret tends to forget that the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the cross, Jesus bore the entire burden of our guilt and shame. On the cross, Jesus purchased, by the shedding of his blood, our complete forgiveness: past, present, and future. --Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, p. 43-44
This reminder is part of the daily liturgy I am adding to my life."
--Brenda Seefeldt Amodea: "Since I gave my life to Christ way back as a 15-year old, I have felt a draw to Good Friday and the cross. The whole bloody mess of the cross. I was all of 19-years old when I gave my first sermon on the bloody details of the cross. The same details which were visually seen in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ twenty-two years later. (I do hold a little resentment to Mel Gibson that he hijacked one of my favorite messages to preach. Now it just looks like I’m copying him.) The bloody brokenness on that cross changed my life. Changed the condemnation I was under (and was smothering me). And nearly 40 years later, I am still moved by that ugly and blood-soaked cross. (You can probably tell from my previous two blogs!) This is the core of my salvation and the core of my life since that day I became a Christian."
--Pastor Matt Benton: "My love for the ugly cross cannot be divorced from Easter. My love of the ugly cross is because of what God does on Easter. That God redeems and restores and heals all that happened on the ugly cross. And that no matter what happens in my life, what happened on the ugly cross and on Easter means that God will take the hardest and worst and most broken parts of my life and will make them whole. Will make them redeemed. Will make them beautiful. That is worth worshipping."