Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Moving Beyond the Cross

"Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do all the things I have told you. And I am with you always, even to the end of the world." ~ Matthew 28:19-20, NLV

It's Easter season.  We have journeyed through the depth of Lent.  We became richer as we grew in intimate knowledge of Jesus, who He was and what He did on our behalf.  He washed our feet.  We ate with Him, watched Him agonize in prayer after dinner and saw Him hauled away by the unjust.  We saw our own behavior in light of His immeasurable grace and goodness, and we felt convicted.  We cringed as we realized every painful stripe on His back, every thorn that poked into His skull, each spike driven through His loving limbs had our name on it.  After witnessing all of this, it's easy to remain standing at the cross, hearts broken, but totally overwhelmed in awe by the passionate affection poured out to win us over for eternity.

Yet, God wants us to move beyond the cross.  That inward meditation or processing of what took place at Golgotha is to compel us to take outward action.  We are to take the tragedy of the crucifixion and share its story in light of the resurrection.  We are called to live transformed lives, ones that have seen the worst miraculously transformed into the best.  And what we have witnessed should naturally spill out of us as bearers of His good news.  Satan thought he had crushed mankind forever, but Heaven won out with a surprise ending!

How often do we, as parents of children with special needs remain at the cross rather than moving beyond to the hope of the empty tomb?  How often do we caress our concerns, grieve our child's diagnosis or wallow in our troubles?  How often do we refuse to believe that any good can come out of our child's suffering?  God is dead!  Evil won!  Jesus is nailed to the cross!

Oh, but how shortsighted that is!  We must not forget that the tomb is empty!  The Savior who could not be held captive to the dark, despairing loneliness of the grave forever cannot be held captive to disease, disability or any other road block.  And because of our child's diagnosis and our obvious challenges, we are uniquely positioned to share that Gospel of hope.  While things may seem grim in our lives at times, we are living proof of Jesus' redemptive work.  Yes, there can be much to grieve, but there is so much more in which to rejoice!  That is the message of Easter that we have the privilege of sharing.

Friend, while it's easy to cling to past wounds, God has a mission for us.  Jesus realized that.  (see John 20:17)  It's time for us to go and share the Good News.  Let this Easter season strengthen anew your excitement for passing on some hope to a hopeless, sad world!  Don't stand at the cross or the grave, nursing the pain that has already been redeemed.  "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said."  (Matthew 28:6, NIV)

Pray:  Lord, sometimes I just can't get over my hurt.  Open my eyes and my heart to all of the glorious good You have already provided for me.  And once it has sunk in, empower me to go share that good news with all who will hear.

~ Barb Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. Good reminder and challenge for us all! Thanks, Barb!