Standing In The Shadow Of The Cross

I heard a song a while back with this phrase in it, "...Standing in the shadow of the cross." 

It struck me and made me start thinking about what that really means. I wanted to know more, so I looked up the definition of the word shadow. I found it to be used in several different contexts, but it's the verb and intransitive verb forms that I believe applies here. These are the meanings I'm addressing in this blog.

shad·ow (verb) - to shelter or protect; (intra. verb) to change by gradual degrees.

Standing in the shelter, protection, and change of the cross - I see. What a beautiful and truthful statement.

I'm really moved when I think about the cross sheltering and protecting me. Standing in its great shadow, I feel rather small and undeserving but so loved and accepted, all at the same time. It's both stunning and comforting. Does that make sense?

That Jesus died explicitly for me, before I was ever born, leaves me awestruck.

So what is it that's so important about the cross?

It is a place where tremendous exchange happened. Jesus, the Son of God, shed His Blood and freely gave His life for all mankind, and it was so we could have access to God the Father. So we could live in hope, freedom, and abundant life. 

The cross represents suffering and death, but it also foreshadows new life, eternal life. This speaks about the risen, living Christ. 

The cross doesn't hold this power on its own. In conjunction with Jesus shedding His Blood for the remission of all sins, the cross is the centrality of the power of the Christian faith. 

The power is in what Jesus did on the cross, and only He could.

For argument's sake, let me clarify when I speak of the cross, I am referencing the cross's absolute and finished work. It speaks to the complete fulfillment of divine redemption and reconciliation. 

Now, the definition of the word shadow, when used as an intransitive verb, means something entirely different, which is quite interesting and very relevant also - it means to change by gradual degrees.

That says to me this is not a one time deal, and then it's all over with. No, instead, as I meet the Lord at the place of His sacrifice and give Him my life as He gives me new life (yet another exchange), I will find myself forever standing in the shadow of this sheltering, life-changing cross, and I can expect gradual and continual change in varying degrees. 

This speaks of the ongoing spiritual growth in my relationship with Him. We grow up in the natural over time, and so it's really no different spiritually. Therefore, I can expect to be changed by the cross; I can expect the changes to be ongoing and in various ways throughout my earthly life.

Do you remember ever having growing pains while growing up? Well, this applies to spiritual growth as well. I won't lie to you - these changes can be very painful at times, but there's something really precious that happens too. Spiritual growth is a transformational process that includes molding, shaping, stretching, and pruning, but it also includes deeper intimacy with Him. In other words, it's about getting to know Jesus, His ways, and His Kingdom in a true relational context. 

Now, if you don't believe in Him, the cross, or any kind of higher power, this probably makes no sense to you and perhaps doesn't even interest you. However, I invite you to consider right now what this could mean for your life.

Without Jesus and what He did on the cross, there is only condemnation and death; there is no mercy.

But in Jesus, there is hope; there is love, grace, truth, forgiveness, healing, and eternal life.

It's not hard to understand because the cross is speaking to everyone. 

It's speaking to the wounded and the fatherless; the forgotten and the overlooked; the frayed and the weak. 

It's for the criminal, the doctor, the drug addict, and the teacher. It's for the prostitute, minister, porn star, journalist, murderer, athlete, and homeless. 

It's for the plain and the common; the eccentric and the messy. 

The cross of Christ is for whosoever will come.

If you're struggling and looking for a second chance, if you're uncertain about tomorrow, if you're longing for something more meaningful and significant, if you're at the end of your rope and feeling hopeless, come and call out for Him.

Come as you are; that's what I did. 

Just come to the cross of Jesus, my friend, and you'll find He's been waiting for you all along.

Michelle Holderman
Copyright © 2011


  1. I love you, Michelle. Thanks for sharing. It's good to see you posting again. XOXOX

  2. Thank you my friend. Love you, too. XOXOX