Beyond The Cross
April 17th, 2017
In the Italian Alps there is a place called the “stations of the cross”. It sounds like a beautiful walk to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made so long ago on what we now celebrate as Easter Sunday.
I have read that one day a tourist, on his journey to the cross in the Alps, noticed a little path that had almost grown over that led past the outdoor crucifix. Fighting his way through the thickets, the tourist was astonished to find another shrine that had been devoted to the empty tomb. No one had been there for years it appeared, as it was all grown over with brush around it.
It seems everyone had made their way to the foot of the cross; that place of suffering, despair, and heartbreak, but had not gone any further. That last shrine, the one so many had forgotten or didn’t go on to find, was the ultimate proof that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, resurrected from the dead.
Years ago, I sat with a dear pastor friend of mine while eating breakfast. We were talking about those who come to the foot of the cross to find salvation.
I mentioned to my pastor friend that as I had been recently praying, praising God for that “foot of the cross experience” we must all have when the Lord spoke something to me that shook me a bit. As the Lord spoke, it was not in a tone of anger, but I think one of disappointment.
This is what the Lord said to me: “Daniel, when will my people move past the foot of the cross? I am no longer there! And yet, so many have camped out at the cross and have not moved on into the victory I have for them. I am risen and wish for them to live the resurrection life.”
The pastor dropped his fork. He looked at me and said, “Oh man! You have got the wheels turning now!” We didn’t speak any further about it.
That was years ago and I have only mentioned it to a few since then. Until now! Maybe it was out fear of their reaction? Maybe it was out of fear of being labeled a heretic or something?
Everyone who finds Jesus Christ must come to the foot of the cross, maybe camp out there for a short while to fully grasp what Jesus did for us, but then rise up and move on down that little grown over trail to find the truth of the empty tomb.
This is the real enduring symbol of the Resurrection. For if Jesus was still dead and in that tomb, He would be no different than a thousand other religious leaders who have claimed to be someone they are not.
But Jesus, Jesus the creator of the Universe, the Son of the living God, the One who has the power to lay down His life, then take it back up again to newness of life. It is He and He alone who was dead in that borrowed tomb for only three days, then came alive again and walked out of that place without the smell of death or the hold death thought it had on Him.
With His sacrifice, His death, His resurrection, Jesus moved past the cross to give us the right to proclaim we too will live again in resurrected victory.
Pick up your tent of misery and move on to the resurrected life God has waiting for you.