Standing In The Shadow Of The Cross

I heard a song a while back with the phrase, "...Standing in the shadow of the cross." It struck me and made me start thinking about what that statement 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 ones 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.

When I think about this regarding sheltering and protecting me, I'm somewhat speechless. Standing in its great shadow, I feel small and undeserving and yet 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, while still in sin, leaves me awestruck.

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

The cross doesn't hold power on its own. The cross, in conjunction with Jesus shedding His Blood for the remission of all sins, is the centrality of the power of the Christian faith. The power is in what Jesus did on the cross. So for argument's sake, let me clarify when I speak of the cross, I am referencing the absolute and finished work of the cross.

Now, as I previously stated, the definition of the word shadow, when used as an intransitive verb, means something entirely different that is quite interesting, but very relevant as well - it is to change by gradual degrees.

That says to me this is not a one time deal and then it's done and over with. Instead, as I meet the Lord at the place of His sacrifice, and give Him my life as He gives me a new life (yet another exchange), I will find myself forever standing in the shadow of this sheltering, life-changing cross and can expect a gradual and continual change in varying degrees. I think this speaks of ongoing spiritual growth in my relationship with Him. We grow up in the natural over time, and it's really no different spiritually. So, I can expect to be changed by the cross, I can expect the changes to be ongoing, and I can expect a variety of changes throughout my life.

Do you remember 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 is something really precious that happens within it. Spiritual growth is a transformational process that always includes times of molding, shaping, stretching, and pruning; it also includes deeper intimacy with Him.

Now if you don't believe in Jesus or the cross, this probably makes no sense to you, and that's okay. I invite you to consider right now what this could mean for your life.

Without Jesus and His cross, there is only condemnation and death; there is no mercy.

But in Jesus and in His cross, there is hope; there is love, forgiveness, healing, and abundant life.

The cross really is for everyone. It's for 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, the teacher, the prostitute, the minister, the porn star, the journalist, the murderer, the athlete, and the homeless. It's for the plain and the common. It's for the eccentric and the elite. The cross is not selective. The cross of Christ is for whosoever will come.

If you're looking for a second chance, if you're uncertain about tomorrow, if you long for something more significant and meaningful, or if you're at the end of your rope, just come. Come as you are; that's what I did.

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

~ Michelle

Copyright © 2011
Michelle Holderman


  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