The cross is not just a deadly juxtaposition of Roman planks, the jagged teeth of an unforgiving hill; it is the flawless centerpiece of all Christian progress, the immovable instrument of my own execution.
It is the scandalous avatar of my identification with Christ – in surrender, in life, and in death.
It is my creed, my angst, my relentless joy, my provocation and pain.
It is my responsibility, my strength, my landmark, and the anchor of my soul.
Each step I take without it lures me into Christless darkness; every moment I bear it I am drawn nearer to the pulsing heart of God.
It is the ‘easy yoke’ that injects all things with joy; it is also the relentless grid that judges me and calls all things into account.
It haunts and overshadows me; and yet it also releases me, blesses me, cleanses me, grafting me to the swelling roots of all life and happiness.
It is my center of gravity, my North star, the song that invites my harmony, the passion that would be my all.
It is the thumb print of fatherly love, the indelible mark of a saved soul.
It is a reminder of what I once was, casting the solemn shadow of what I could yet be without the grace of God.
It is my firm stake in eternity, embedded deeply in the undiscovered realms of heaven.
It is Genesis, and Exodus; it is Gospel and it is Armageddon.
Through it, I am forgiven and transformed. By it, I am bound and determined. Under it, I am free.
Christ’s blood, now soaked and dried into its rough timbers, paint God’s epic story in strokes too awful and wonderful to comprehend.
Jesus, this gift is too much, too lavish, too costly. Unthinkable. Unfathomable.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)