The Comfort of the Cross

Being from a small town in South Carolina, I’ve learned a few things that may differ from your culture. One thing that is for certain would be that you can never predict the weather. Leaving home in the morning when it is below sixty-degrees does not mean that you can get away with wearing a sweater at noon. In fact, chances are that the temperature will increase so drastically that a stroll in the park will turn into a struggle in what feels like a sauna. A day in the winter could be the greatest time of the year to catch a tan, then the next day you may need your Ugg Boots.

Sometimes, us South Carolinians forget this. It was a lovely morning, so I was certain that I could enjoy the outdoors after my classes and I had a destination in mind. My small town of Graniteville, South Carolina has a cross in the local cemetery. I’m not talking about a cross that is made of a couple of logs, though those are lovely. I am referring to a cross that you can see throughout the town. I am speaking of a cross that stands as high as an eight-and-a-half-story building. This cross took three months to manufacture. When I speak of this cross, I also speak of the highest point in Graniteville. Mentioning this cross is mentioning comfort for people. The ironic thing about this landmark is that it does not even scratch the surface of what the cross at calvary has been doing in people’s lives, for thousands of years.

Reaching my destination brought the comfort of salvation into perspective for me. Seeking relief in the heat is what lead me to the shadow of the cross. In that moment, I could enjoy the breeze, I could focus on the cross instead of the heat, and I could appreciate the destination. I couldn’t help but ponder how often I desire the peace provided by the cross. Thoughts running through my mind included the magnitude of Christ’s love and why He would love somebody like myself. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

When something as big as Christ is within someone as small as me, He cannot help but being seen. One major purpose of Paul’s authorship of Ephesians is to present the relationship we can have with Christ through the grace that He is extending towards us. Because our faith is anchored by love, and His love is so powerful, it should be grounded within me like a tree in the earth. Imagine the way that roots seep into the terrain. We do not expect a tree to be uprooted easily, but we expect growth and strength. Similarly, our relationship with Christ should prosper as we water it with His word.

Notice, Paul says “the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” Well, of course Christ’s love surpasses knowledge. Being a human who knows time, boundaries, distance, and the reality of injustice; how could we ever comprehend something that is the alpha and omega, faithful, never-ending, and righteous always?

How can we, who fight sin daily, understand why a blameless man would die for us on a cross? Theologians, Christians, Historians, and God’s children throughout the world would say “love is the reason.” The beauty of this wondrous love is that no person can grasp it in entirety. If I could live for Christ for three years and have all the answers, then I may come to an abrupt halt. Fortunately, the depths of His love is so great that I cannot dive to the bottom.

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