“You forgot your cross.”
Mom’s voice through the cell phone was apologetic. My face scrunched up with disappointment.
My parents live almost two hours south, and my hubby and I had just arrived home after a 24-hour visit with them and out-of-state family for a birthday get-together. The final moments leaving my parents’ house are always chaotic: lugging clothes, stuffed animal comforts, books, reluctant kids, favorite pillows, and toiletry bags to our truck.
My beloved crystal cross lay where I left it the night before, on my parents’ guest bedroom dresser, clear and unobtrusive.
“I’ll bring it when we come up next,” she promised.
The cross is my one-and-only from Tiffany & Co. Around the time my hubby and I were seriously talking babies twelve years ago, he surprised me for our third anniversary with the simple, supple cross.
The jewelry piece caught my eye during a daydreaming jaunt through a local mall’s Tiffany & Co, and was a last-hurrah splurge gift before we narrowed down to one income from two and our family expanded from two to three.
Do you have jewelry you wear every day?
I’m not a big jewelry person, but it’s a rare occasion you’ll find me without my engagement ring and ten-year anniversary band on my left and right ring fingers, along with the crystal cross around my neck.
At work, customers have commented on the cross’s unique beauty. My fingers often grasp its rounded edges, sometimes when I’m daydreaming and other times when I’m praying.
This Sunday our assistant pastor taught from 1 Corinthians 1, in an Easter series about the Cross.
Not my pretty crystal neck adornment.
The real thing.
(This might get ugly.)
The wooden cross Romans used to crucify murderers and thieves.
Criminals. Bad people we would never choose to be around, people looked down upon as the scourge of society. People tortured then nailed upon two trees hewn together in the shape of a ‘T’.
In ancient times, death by crucifixion was the worst possible way to die. Typically slow and painful, it was also humiliating, as they often stripped the criminal of his clothing. The guards had free reign with criminals, doing whatever they wanted to inflict pain on them in order to deter others from committing the same crimes.
It’s pretty ugly to think about, to dwell on.
Pastor Mark made the valid point that you’d never, ever see anyone wearing a tiny guillotine or a little gold electric chair on a chain around their neck.
It just wouldn’t happen.
So why the Cross? Why is a symbol of torture worn by believers the world over?
“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center” (John 19:17 & 18).
When I prayed about this post the word engraved on my heart was peace.
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:4 & 5).
I wear my cross because it reminds me God’s sustaining peace is ONLY because of and through Jesus’s sacrifice on that awful, horrible, humiliating Cross. I don’t want to forget what Jesus paid for my sin, for your sin.
There was a price to pay for believers’ peace—for the gift of having a made-right relationship with our Creator and the promise of eternal life with God—and Jesus paid it on the Cross with His wounds, afflictions, and overwhelming chastisement.
With His humble acquiescence for God’s saving plan.
Lord, please don’t let me forget this, ever. It’s all about Jesus and the Cross.
I love my crystal cross. It’s pretty and unique, and I’ve missed wearing it while it’s at my parents’.
But it’s an ephemeral symbol.
Your soul is not.
Have you put your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross?
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).