As a kid, I thought this was a horrible name for the day Christ suffered and died. As an adult, I came to the deeper understanding that it's a good day for me, as Christ's sacrifice set me free. Free from my flawed, selfish heart that, left on its own, takes me on a path of arrogance and self-service. A heart that would deceive me daily, seducing me to believe I am my own god.
So, today is a good day for the human race. We can all be free, if we so choose.
The cross can be a sign of unspeakable torture. It can also be a symbol of victory, because that crude structure of planked wood did not keep the Lord down. It was not the final word. The story ends with an empty tomb, wrappings left behind, Christ crushing sin and the grave.
For me, the Easter story is wrapped up in a warped little wooden cross that was carved by a friend of my daughter's.
It's designed to fit in the fingers of my hand.
It's a simple prayer tool that is lightweight and smooth. I went to sleep holding it last night, praying about all kinds of things. It reminds of Christ's sacrifice, His victory, His sovereignty, my freedom, my love for Him, His love for me, and every other blessing/worry in my life.
Sometimes I grip it harder than others.
It still fits.
Scripture tells us that God holds us in the palm of His (mighty) hand. I like thinking I'm holding my faith in all its confusion and wonder and gratitude in mine.
I love this little cross. By itself, it looks like it's dancing, head to the side, arms flung wide. This reminds me that someday we will dancing on streets of gold.
My prayer for everyone this weekend is that Christ will reveal Himself to you in a new way, that your faith will be renewed, or ignited for the first time. Easter is a day of rejoicing, because it reminds us the suffering is not the end of the story.
Do you have any tools that help you pray/grow closer to God?