Saturday, September 24, 2011

Standing In The Shadow Of The Cross

I heard a song awhile back with the phrase, "...Standing in the shadow of the Cross." That struck me and made me begin thinking about what that statement really means. I wanted to know more.

So I started by looking up the official definition of the word shadow. I found it to be used in several different contexts, but it is the verb and intransitive verb forms of the word that I believe apply to that statement. These are the ones I am 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 the Cross in terms of sheltering and protecting me, I'm left rather speechless. Standing within its great shadow, I feel so very small and undeserving and yet so very loved and accepted; all at the same time. Its both terrifying and comforting. Does that make sense? Forgive me if it doesn't. Words fail me.

That Jesus died specifically for me, before I was ever born, while still in sin, leaves me awestruck. I'd say that's some crazy, beautiful love right there. That's John 3:16; twenty-first century style.

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 that 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 alone does not hold the power. 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 that when I speak of the Cross, I am referencing the absolute and finished work of the Cross.

As 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 bam; its done and over with. Rather as I meet Christ at the Cross and give Him my life as He gives me new life (yet another exchange), I will find myself forever standing in the shadow of the Cross and can expect gradual and continual change in varying degrees. I think this speaks of ongoing spiritual growth in my relationship with the Lord. We grow up in the natural over time and it's really no different spiritually. 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 very precious that happens within this. Spiritual growth is a transformational process that always includes times of molding, shaping, stretching, and pruning.

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

Without Jesus and the Cross, there is only condemnation and death. There is no mercy.

But in Jesus and in the Cross, there is hope; there is love; there is forgiveness; there is healing; there is life.

The Cross 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, 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 is for whoever will come.

If you're looking for a second chance, if you're uncertain about tomorrow, if you're in need of something greater, something that you cannot do for yourself, just come. Come as you are. That's what I did.

Come to the Cross. You'll find its been waiting for you all along.

~ Michelle

Copyright © 2011 Michelle Holderman


2 comments:

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

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

    ReplyDelete