It’s Easter week, and I’m thinking of the cross today.
Three years into my Christian walk, I traveled to Israel for the first time. I couldn’t wait to get to the place where Jesus died – to stand where He had suffered on my behalf. I did not know then that scholars differ on the location of Golgotha, but one possible site most caught my attention. The site was “Gordon’s Calvary,” a small hill with a rock face that looked like a skull and three trees planted at the top. To my surprise, though, what halted me was not the hill itself – it was the crazy, chaotic, busy, noisy, smelly, crowded, loud bus station directly in front of the hill.
Watching the commotion, I couldn’t fathom how so many people came to the station, hopped on a bus, went to work, returned to the station, and then headed home each day while completely ignoring the place where Jesus may have died. It was as if the cross never existed and the Son never died.
Fast forward more than forty years. I’m a lot older now, and my life’s much, much busier. I come and go, come and go. My calendar’s full. I travel across the country and around the world. My email box is never fully empty. There’s always some other place to be, some other lesson to prepare. I awaken with stuff to do and go to bed with stuff still on my mind. I’m not a lot different from those folks who hopped on and off the bus on that warm Jerusalem day many years ago. And, I’m afraid that in my busyness, I’m also guilty of just walking past the cross.
Here are some reasons many of us will make that same mistake today:
1.We first heard the story a long time ago. The distance between the day we first heard about the cross and today is often directly proportional to our tendency to take it for granted. We long-term believers are often more guilty than newer believers.
2.We don’t see our sin as bad as it is. We don’t seriously see it as an affront to a perfectly holy God. When we see our sin as “not so bad,” the cross doesn’t matter as much.
3.We don’t really talk much about the cross except for this week. It’s right to emphasize it this week, but it’s not right to refer to it only superficially the rest of the year.
4.We miss the significance of the Lord’s Supper. This meal calls us to remember Jesus’ death until He comes again – but we too often just go through its motions.
5.We’re all too busy. I’m the first to confess it and ask for your prayers. Nothing I do is worth neglecting the cross.
Today, join with me in meditating on the cross – and then make it part of your life.