A few years ago, I sat at a theatre piece in one of the Aldiana Clubs one evening and was watching “the Lion King”. At some stage in the piece, Scar or his hyenas threaten the little Simba after his father’s death. At that very moment, with an authority that came completely unexpected and extreme outrage a 4-5 year old boy, jumped up and screamed his outrage, threatening the hyenas and Scar, waving his fist and making his way across the rows of people. In fact he made 4-5 rows literally over people, raging and swinging his tiny fists in loudly voiced rage and accusations against these perpetrators, before anyone was able to grab him and even try to contain him. He spent the next 2 minutes kicking and outraged and continued his endeavour until his parents were able to calm him down. The interruption had the actors on stage flabbergasted. And in retrospective it caused a very entertaining evening and served for many lovely conversations afterwards.
Why do I mention this anecdote at the beginning of something as vital as a revelation of the Cross?
Because this young boy, had a revelation of something that was outrageous in a way the others in the room did not. He reacted promptly and appropriately (considering it had been a real situation instead of a theatre piece).
In have talked and heard about the Cross plenty times. I have watched “The passion of Christ” and was moved to tears.
But did I really have a revelation of the Cross?
Would I talk about it the same way, if I had witnessed it; if it was a loved one like my brother being crucified?
I guess not. And I am ashamed to say that. For I fully understand that I will certainly fall short of representing Christ, if I lack revelation of the Cross.
Too often, we do exactly what the crowd in the short anecdote does, we dismiss outrage as inappropriate and unfitting (even now it would be both, appropriate and fitting), we hold back those who react the appropriate way, we stop authority and later chitchat over the entertaining aspect of it all, ridiculing the person at stake.
However as Christians the Cross is part of the centerpiece of our walks with Christ. I say ‘part of’ because there is so much more to the Gospel of God than the Cross, but none the less, without it we would not be reconciled to God.
Now if you allow me, I will take you on a short journey, hoping to open your eyes to something that only the Holy Spirit can open them to:
Imagine you were there… right there, in the dust and heat and sun scourging, with sweat and blood in the air. Witnessing the crucifixion of the person most dear to you (whoever it might be)… the crucifixion of an innocent person.
Imagine you are there, smelling, feeling, hearing, and seeing. Yes, witnessing in its full implication.
Every moan and scream of pain coming from your loved ones mouth will cause you to writhe in your gut; will draw up disgust that brings guile to your mouth; will cause you to want to turn your eyes away and hold your ears shut – but you cannot.
Every expression of pain draws to your innermost being two emotions at once:
- Outrage and disgust
- A painstaking reality, that if they are not in that position right then and now, you would be. And admittedly, you’d rather not be.
Just allow yourself to interrupt your reading right here right now. Spend some time… just close your eyes and let that realisation sink in. Take your time. Allow what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life right now.
Do you recognize the bitter-sweet fragrance of it all? Bitter for all that it was and is…. and sweet, for it redeems you for all eternity.
Once we recognize the Cross for what it is… once we recognize the price paid for us… once we acknowledge our own depravity… we are ready to be changed.
How could we/I/you ever not want to talk about this outrageous demonstration of love? How could you not want to do everything in your power to help people recognize what you have just started seeing?
I believe more words in this post won’t make it better.
I challenge you to walk a new road with Christ, thanking Him for the Cross more and more, as you come to recognize, what it actually means!
May God bless you!