Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Years ago I stopped at an historical marker telling about a tree that stood before me. The white oak had escaped the onslaught of millions of northern Wisconsin hardwoods cut during the early logging days. It was one of the few old growth trees left following that time.
Because I am enamored with trees, the huge oak impressed me. But when I consider all trees, the one that means the most to me is the one made into a cross that held the body of Jesus. Every time I see a replica of the cross, the instrument of torture that killed Him, I visualize the letters
L-O-V-E inscribed on the crossbar. Because without His love, exhibited so vividly on that cross, we would have no salvation from sin.
Many parents are willing to die for their children. Servicemen and women are willing to die for their country. Even some good friends are willing to lay down their own lives for one another.
But Jesus was prepared and eager to die for us all. He could have called a thousand angels down to save Him from the torture of His death on a cross. But He “… who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
His shame wasn’t for Himself, for He was sinless. His shame was ours. He took our place, taking our sin—and that of the entire world—upon Himself. All for love.
The Bible teaches that we all have sinned and cannot be saved from it without the blood shed by Jesus Christ. We could say that the crossbar on His instrument of torture was meant to become our stepping stone to God. When we wear a cross around our neck or as a tattoo, place it on our license plate or hang it on our wall, we show the world that God’s love has reached us, and redeemed us from eternal life without Him. The cross we choose to show is a testimony of our returning love for Him. May we wear it with humility, joy and enduring faith.
Lord, thank You for the cross. Thank You for Your willingness to send Your only Son to earth for the sake of taking on our sins in order to show Your everlasting, undeserving love. Give us the faith, willingness and power to share Your love with all those we meet, as Jesus did. We ask this in His precious name, amen.