John 3:13-15 – For only I, the Son of Man, have come to earth and will return to heaven again. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. (NLT)
Over the years, I've travelled many miles to see some of the great landmarks of history. I've climbed monuments and gone in elevators that whisked me up to the top of man-made towers where I stood fascinated by the view.
But there's one monument, a man-made one, that is repeated in almost all of the places I've had the privilege to visit. It is a cross. I've seen crosses used to mark where someone has died along the sides of busy highways; delicate gold crosses made into jewellery; and crosses made from precious stones decorating the crowns worn by famous kings and queens through history. Perhaps because of my Irish connections, one cross that took my attention was a sandstone cross at Monasterboice, near Drogheda, Ireland. Here, within the grounds of an ancient stone-walled garden, a number of high crosses stood erect on a site of ruins where once there had been a monastery. In the centre of the garden, the 5.5m Muiredach's cross still stands complete with its carvings that were once used to tell stories from the Bible to a congregation.
The monastery has been destroyed several times over the years, but more than a thousand years later, the cross still stands to remind us of the most important story ever told. It is the story of how Jesus Christ, God's only Son, died on a cruel wooden cross so that we who believe in Him will have eternal life.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the message of the cross — a message of supreme love that has reached down through the centuries to speak to people reminding us that Jesus, Your Son, died for our sin. Amen.