Sunday, April 12, 2009

Because of the Cross

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The cross was intended to stop him. The religious leaders wanted the man who threatened their grip on power eliminated. They wanted a Messiah who would quell the mighty Roman army with a single swipe, ending the oppression that had been known for nearly a century. They wanted their world to change dramatically for the better without altering their way of life. What they did not want was some poor carpenter from Galilee crashing their turf. They claimed to be righteous and holy men who lived to serve God, but they lived only for themselves; and Jesus was about to ruin everything.


Obsessed with silencing the voice of the man they labeled as a lunatic and blasphemer, they appealed to their governing authorities...with persistence. And when the decree sentencing Jesus to death by crucifixion was announced, they sighed with relief and smiled smugly. They got what they wanted. Finally, after of trying to get rid of the captivating teacher who spoke in parables, they won. Or so they thought. When I researched the meaning of the word Pharisee, I was stunned at the irony I found. Pharisee is derived from the Hebrewפרושים perushim from פרוש parush, which means separated. Those claiming to be men of God, could not have been farther from Him. They separated themselves from truth.


Jesus was captured, stripped of his clothing and his dignity. Spit from filthy mouths stained his holy face. Whips tore skin off his back and legs. Vicious, hateful words intended to break his heart were flung into the ears of God's son. Battered and bloodied beyond recognition, Jesus carried the heavy crossbeam until he broke underneath its weight.


When he arrived at the site of his execution, soldiers roughly restrained him and nailed his body to a cross. A cross that was most likely already stained by another's blood. To those carrying out the sentence, Jesus was just another criminal to use as an example. The cross was then erected. There Jesus hung until his lungs exhaled the last of their air. After Jesus uttered the words “it is finished,” those who had been waiting for that moment felt victorious. God's enemy, satan, probably cackled and howled with delight, because God's son who was sent to save the world was dead. The cross had changed everything. Evil triumphed, or at least it would seem that way until...


On the third day, Christ seized complete victory. His heart began beating again, his lungs took in air. He shook off the pounds of burial spices, unwrapped the linens from his once tattered body, moved the boulder that blocked entrance to his tomb, and walked out of that grave alive and whole. The cross could not silence the His voice.


My heart aches when I think about the suffering Christ endured on that brutal Friday. Yet my soul rejoices in the victory of Easter. I am a woman covered with flaws. Next to God, I would appear as grimy as an earth worm...because of the cross, I am forgiven.


Because of the cross, sin's curse has been crushed. Because of the cross, lies have been revealed and truth offered. Because of the cross, my puny existence has great purpose. Because of the cross, I can hold my children tight and assure them that no matter how ugly this world gets, there is hope. Because of the cross, I know that the most glorious moments I have been given in this lifetime will pale in comparison to what lays ahead for me in the next. Because of the cross, I can choose to have love, peace and joy present in my life every single day without exception. There is a second chance for each human being...all because of the cross.


"You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." (Col. 2:13-15-NLT)


There are so many powerful songs of worship, but none affects me as deeply as the song In Christ Alone. I chose this version by Travis Cottrell to share with you. The rendition is lovely, but I also love the simplicity of the video...just the lyrics. I hope that you'll get an opportunity to listen and let the beauty of the words refresh your spirit.





If you have a post about the true meaning of Easter, please feel free to link it to the Mr. Linky (please ignore that it reads 9 on the 9th) below so that others can be blessed. I look forward to reading all of your posts this week. If you would kindly put a link to Becoming Me on your post, that would be much appreciated and enable more people to share their stories. However, I will not be stressing over it if you do not.

In the joy of knowing that He has Risen,

Angela







39 comments:

Muthering Heights said...

Beautiful post...and I love that song. It's one of my favorites!

Lori said...

EXCELLENT post. I simply can't believe what Christ did for me...oh His grace is amazing beyond words.

ruth at comfort cafe said...

Thanks for organizing this neat way to celebrate Easter, Angela! Beautiful thoughts, inspiring song...

Angie said...

That was an awesome read Angela!

VERY good post. Carries my heart and thoughts right back with your words...and I feel HIS LOVE.

mommy4life said...

You expressed it so beautifully....

Thank you.

Donetta said...

Thanks This is good for the soul to proclaim it!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Angela, This was an amazing post. I'm so glad that GOd put these words on your heart to share.

Emily said...

Stunningly written. How often we need to be reminded of the sacrifice Christ made for us, it's almost as if we become numb to it. Thank you for offering that reminder.

He is risen!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

This is a great idea, Angela! I have several posts on Easter, but I linked one of my favorites. For a humerous look at Easter, read this post: http://heart-of-service.blogspot.com/2008/01/and-i-quote.html

Xandra

graceunbound said...

Beautiful. With tears in my eyes I can't think of anything else to say. Because of the cross we live.

Leslie said...

Amen!! Thank you for sharing. Easter is my favorite time of year-- oh, the power of it all!!!

sara said...

you are such a good writer, I loved reading this post...beautiful. and this is one of my favorite songs too. It makes me cry everytime we sing it at church!

Tara said...

That song has special meaning to me, and it is absolutely beautiful - especially with Travis singing it. Wow. Love the blog look, too!! Beautiful post. This time of year - Resurrection Sunday - just, no words can define it for me. Amazing. Dare I say better than Christmas?

dancinginthemargins said...

Because of the Cross...this once broken girl lives in freedom.

Beautiful, Angela.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I loved this so much Angela! Thank-you!

Irritable Mother said...

Because of the cross...
Absolutely wonderful, Angela!!!

Carol said...

Hey! The new blog looks great. I'm glad I can read it again. I could see your blog last week but there was no content. I use Safari - I'm on a mac. But I can see it now. :) Happy Easter!

luvmy4sons said...

In Christ Alone is a beautiful song. I don't know how I heard about this but I am so glad I did and each day I am posting one word that reflects what Easter means to me. It was such a blessing writing my posts and caused some deep reflection! Thanks for hosting it.

Ormand said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

http://www.craigslistposter.info

Natalie said...

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it!

lisasmith said...

woo-hoo!!! You're back on my screen!!!

Love your poetic words but my favorite insight is the root of pharisee. When we try to follow the law without His Spirit we are distancing ourselves from the Truth. Amen sister!

My link will be up later this week. Have an amazing holy week and I pray you dance in His resurrection power.

Amanda said...

I think this concept and inspiration are wonderful Angela! I never did get around to writing mine...and I am sorry. I let life, sickness, the flood in Fargo, and a bunch of other excuses get in the way. I will be praying on it... and am going to be open to God letting me know if I can still participate as He would have me...

Many blessings-
Amanda

Leslie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today! Your blog turned me on to FaithWriters.com. I joined this afternoon and submitted 2 pieces to the regular article area. Thank you for that!

christa jean said...

I am always so inspired by your words, and this post was fine evidence of that.
I thank you.

Lisa writes... said...

Beautiful post, Angela. I linked to a re-post from a couple of years ago. I hope to have something "fresh" later this week! I am so glad you put this together; what a great encouragement to focus on the wonder of the cross and the resurrection of our Lord...and worship!

Lisa notes... said...

Thanks for providing this forum for us to share our faith.

Misty said...

i really love that song and this post was so beautifully written.

and a comparably trite note: love the new blog look. :)

ihavetobelieve said...

true meaning of the cross ... lies are exposed, truth is revealed, and hope is offered. Thank you for sharing your heart!

I'm A Believer!
Laura

Julie said...

Hey sweet friend,

Thank you for your visit and your sweet words. I am blessed to know they spoke to you.

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Hugs from Ellijay sent your way....

Mrs. M said...

Oops, I wrote the post and then forgot to link.

Anyway, thank you for this 'carnival'. It was a challenging, but reflective experience for me.

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

He IS a Glorious Savior!

Grace said...

Hi Angela!

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you have a very blessed Easter!

Mary Moss said...

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share Easter with others!

Shonda said...

Your words expressed the meaning so well. May the Lord bless you as you share about Christ.
Engrafted by His Grace--
Shonda

Dedicated Writer said...

I love your blog! Mary Moss told me about it. I linked to it and will be honored if you visit mine. I didn't get a chance to write a new Easter themed blog this year, but posted several last year. I touched on some of the same things you did here in my post "Consider The Cross." Hope you will stop by and read it when you get a chance. Have a blessed Easter.

Patty Wysong said...

All that Christ went through blows me away! And He did it all out of love for us. For ME! What a totally awesome God we serve!!!

Lisa writes... said...

I linked up a second post. Hope that's okay. Surely there's not a limit on Easter reflections? :-)

Cindy said...

Beautifully written ~ Thank you for hosting another wonderful tour!!
Blessings this Easter!
Cindy

Billy Coffey said...

I've read a lot of great posts this weekend from a lot of great writers. This one is the best, hands down.

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