As Christians, we look to the cross as a symbol of our faith. The image of Christ, held to the cross by our sins, serves as a reminder of the torture and death Jesus endured on our behalf. But, the same Christianity represented by this portrayal of death, is embodied by a renewal of life. The same Christ who is bound to the wood by our sins, rose from the dead to conquer the sins that held him there.
I think oftentimes when we hear “Jesus died and rose from the dead,” we dismiss the true meaning of the phrase, simply because we’ve heard it so often. But, Jesus rose from the dead! Jesus ROSE from the dead!!! Just think about that for a second. Jesus, the very one who gave us life, descended into death and then overcame it, FOR US! God took on flesh, accepted death, and then rose victorious.
The cross isn’t so much a symbol of death and sorrow, but a signal of life and hope and the light which is to come! If it weren’t for the Passion, there would be no Resurrection; if it weren’t for His death, we would not have life!
I think that this concept can be applied to our daily lives as well. Whenever we are faced with a struggle, we are simultaneously given an opportunity to yield great beauty. Often, exceptional struggles are what open the door to extraordinary success! So many times in life, God walks us through a difficult time in order to bring us to a beautiful destination. Just as on the cross, Christ had to endure immense pain and unquantifiable suffering, so too in life are we faced with struggles that sometimes seem indomitable. However, through Christ’s great suffering, came an even greater beauty, light, and abundance of LIFE! And through our own suffering can come a greater sense of strength, a more joyful heart, and wisdom beyond that which we can even comprehend.
So, this Easter season, I invite you to not grow comfortable with the beauty of the Resurrection. Allow yourself to be moved, to be inspired, and to be awestruck that JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD! FOR YOU! I encourage you to look at the cross and each time, be reminded of the beauty and the victory which was won for us there. Remember that rather than portraying death, Christ’s crucifixion points to the Resurrection: the single most hopeful, beautiful, life-giving, and enriching event of human history. And please, don’t lose heart amidst your own darkness. For without darkness, there’s no light; without struggle, there’s no victory! Look to the cross and face whatever is lying ahead with full confidence that the Risen Lord will not fail you, and be assured that whatever difficulties you’re facing are only indicative of the indescribable beauty that awaits if you persevere.