Hebrews 12:2 – Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher, [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (AMP)
I was a young girl walking home one moonlit night in London, England, when I became aware of a church which had recently been bombed. The roof, lovingly built a thousand years before, lay in heaps; some of the walls remained standing as guarding sentinels; and the once-grand entrance, with its front wall and heavy wooden door, was broken and had joined the rubble. But in the midst of this devastation — as a challenge and a reminder to the walking public — was the cross, placed upon the altar. Doubtless, the cross and altar had survived unharmed and had been moved from the front of the church, perhaps by an elderly caretaker, and placed in full view of the passers-by to assure them that in the midst of destruction, the cross was still valid; the cross was still effective.
Though this was many years ago, I have retained a very clear picture of that cross in the silvery moonlight, with its outstretched arms. Through the passing years and the slow maturing of my Christian experience, I have come to realize the meaning implied by the caretaker's action, to remind those living in a broken and tragic world of loss and destruction, that the cross had not lost its power. Many of us today find ourselves in a broken and tragic world that seems to have little meaning, but the cross with its outstretched arms is still the answer. Out of tragedy and pain come peace and love, and an ongoing fellowship with the One who chose brokenness, that we might experience wholeness and joy.
Prayer: Father, we give You thanks this wonderful Eastertide because it was through You that we have the lasting joy of Easter. You so willingly gave Your dearest and best, Your Son, that we "wretched sinners" might become saints and brothers of Your beloved Son. Remind us of this great relationship when our world becomes broken, and help us to realize that You are the Great Repairer. Amen.