Cross, The Perspective of the

Cross, The Perspective of the

by Rubel Shelly

Published in LoveLines (June 22, 1994)

Cross-Eyed Is Clear-Sighted

How does anyone know she is valuable? That he is loved in spite of failure? That the humiliation and despair of sin can be overcome? Standing at the foot of the cross, I see that God loves me and that the worth he assigns me is so much greater than I attribute to myself after sin's humiliation sinks in.

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

How does one know the worth of others and learn to treat them as they should be treated? In other words, how do we get past racism, sexism, and all the other "isms" that denigrate our fellows? How do we learn to love our neighbors as ourselves? Called to the cross, we see all others as our sinner-peers and can no longer find it in our hearts to look down on anyone.

"Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Eph. 5:2). "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross" (Col. 1:19-20).

Where does a discouraged soul stand to find hope for going on? How does she learn to sing in her pain? What can convince him that sickness, loss, or betrayal can be overcome? Christ's triumph came from the unlikely scene of his gruesome death, and his experience is a promise of our own.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Rom. 8:35-37). "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him" (2 Cor. 2:14).

Despite the angry cries, rusty spikes, and blood, there is no better place from which to see life clearly. It is in the shadow of the cross that the radiance of divine reality becomes obvious.

The only vantage point from which one can see life and all its issues clearly is provided at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

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