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The Cross and Your Soul

No one knows better than my own children that I can become intrusive into your soul. I often disregard their sacred space in my enthusiasm for them to know the love I have come to know from God. My new husband is getting used to this and loving me anyway in spite of my passion. I am trying to become more aware of my inappropriate intrusions and listen to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads me to the best ways to share my spiritual truth

All that said, I sense that what I am about to write about will intrude into your sacred space. My passion for this subject may be a bit out of control. I can’t help myself…I just have to write about it. We, Christians, are as a group far too inoculated to the effect of the cross on our souls.

In preparation for Lent, I have been teaching about the Seven Sayings from the Cross. With such little written material, it has caused me to enter into the realities of the context from which Jesus is speaking. I can imagine the physical pain the cross caused for Jesus. I have felt physical pain, although not even close to the torture He endured. The spiritual pain was far worse for Him and something I will never face. Because I have taken on Christ’s righteousness as my own through the puny act of faith in Him and facing the truth about me—that I am completely condemned as a sinner without Christ—I will never be forsaken by God as Jesus was on the cross.

I don’t have words to describe the significance of the cross for my soul. Today, the cross is a familiar symbol of beauty and Christianity. Some wear a cross as jewelry because it is in fashion. We decorate walls with crosses. Some of us look at some form of a cross every day. Yet, how often do we look at the cross so that our souls cry out in thankfulness and awe of the power of the cross?

It’s hard to make the cross the center of your life. The Apostle Paul claimed to live this way.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).

The cross seemed to affect not only his spiritual future but also his everyday way of living. The cross overwhelmed all his desires for the offerings of the world. For Paul there was nothing else in the entire universe that meant more to his soul than the cross. I imagine that he could enjoy a beautiful sunset. I know how much he loved God’s people. He felt a special bond with his sons in the faith—Timothy and Titus. All of these are aspects of the world that mean a lot to my soul as well. So much of the world distracts me from the cross, but Paul considered the cross the biggest boast of his life. There was nothing in this world to compare to his view of the cross.

My focus on the cross this Lent is broadening my appreciation of the reality of what it means to my life. I wear a cross every day. I think of the protection that Christ gives me through the cross. Even when I was in a Muslim country where my cross could stir up aggression, I wore one tucked inside my shirt. I put thought into my jewelry that is in the shape of the cross. I see it more as for me. I think of the benefits for myself.

That’s not enough for my soul. When I stop and examine the cross in the way Paul describes, I love the cross for God, for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit. I see its glory in the symbol of eternal love, trust, sacrifice, joy, heartache, relationship, and victory. The cross is beyond comparison to anything in all the world. I know I will never know the depth of the cross; but when my soul connects to the power of the cross, I realize that everything is made right.

The cross is my soul’s joy and crown.

 

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