There is a
shadow where there is no darkness.
There is a shadow where darkness
flees in terror. There is a shadow
that is not a place of greater
darkness, but a place brighter than
then thousand suns. This
shadow is the shadow of the Cross.
The burning issue in your life is
not employment, the government or
governmental actions, the economy,
money, or taxes. The burning
issue in your life is not whether
there will be a depression or
recession, who is in power or who is
not. The greatest issue in
your life is whether you fully
understand and fully accept Christ
and His sacrifice for you on the
Cross. When human beings
gather at the Cross, differences
between us melt away. What you
think is important to you today
begins to fade away when you see
Christ in such terrible agony upon
the Cross. Even your
sufferings of the present moment are
of little importance because His
suffering gives you a way to see
into a future time when your
suffering is replaced with joy.
At the Cross, your head can be bowed
low in the defeat of your present
circumstances but you are still
immersed in victory over death.
At the Cross, your life can be
overwhelmed with all kinds of
concerns and difficulties but the
power of His love overwhelms all
concerns and difficulties. At
the Cross, concerns or difficulties
cannot survive when you kneel before
Him. At the Cross, His love is
so forceful you cannot carry your
burdens very close to the Cross
without seeing them disappear.
At the Cross, anger that has built
up in you for years melts away in an
over matters you find vital melt
away. At the Cross,
frustrations with relationships,
jobs, family concerns, and
opportunities unrealized melt away.
All this happens because Love has a
way of vaporizing what you believe
is so important. That is the
full meaning of the Cross…Love.
Christ went to the Cross because He
loves you. He loves you in
particular. He loves you when
you ignore Him. He loves you
when you run away from Him. He
loves you when you don't love Him.
He loves you even when you don't
want Him to love you.
Most people believe that what is
expressed in these paragraphs about
the Cross and Christ's power of love
is some kind of radical or fanatical
idea. Here is what most people
find so radical or fanatical…that
Christ's suffering and death on the
Cross is still dramatically touching
people two thousand years later.
What so many do not understand and
will not accept is the transforming
power of Christ is still in effect
and is still working today. At the
Cross, this supernatural
transforming power turns what is
important to you into the
unimportant. At the Cross,
what is important to you today loses
its importance when you come to the
Cross and see your Savior bleeding
and dying for you.
Worldly powers and influences
minimize, deny, or reject this
transformational reality of the
Cross. Worldly powers and
worldly influences do not want to be
transformed by the supernatural
power of the Cross. Every
worldly influence must minimize,
deny, or reject the idea that
Christ's suffering on the Cross
connects to human hearts and lives.
The worldly powers must minimize,
deny, or reject the importance of
Christ on the Cross because when all
things are put before Christ on the
Cross, there is a great sorting out
of priorities. The world of
unbelief, the world of darkness, and
the secular world does not want to
stand before the Cross and undergo
an automatic sorting out of
priorities. Neither do most
people want to stand before the
Cross because to stand before Christ
who is God made into man tears away
every pretense and every excuse not
to believe and accept Him.
When you stand before Christ who is
dying for you, then every ungodly
belief and every ungodly value
within you disappears. At the
Cross, every sinful thought, every
sinful deed, every selfish motive,
all are exposed to a force of
annihilation called Love for which
there is no defense.
When you stand at the Cross and
begin to comprehend Christ's
suffering, you cannot stand for
long, for you must collapse on your
knees. You must collapse from
the weight of your sins and your
guilt. It is much like Moses
wanting to see God. Moses was
only permitted to see Him moving
away because of His brilliant love.
At the Cross, you are permitted to
see Him in the most horrible of
circumstances, yet there is the sin
in a person's soul that screams out
not to look. Sin knows that it
cannot look at Him and survive.
Whatever differences anyone else has
on this planet with anyone else be
they Jews, Catholics, Protestants,
Blacks, Whites, Arabs, Russians,
aborigines, or John Doe on the
street, there are no differences at
the Cross. The shadow of the
Cross descends over every person,
every country, every city, and every
family. You can run from this
shadow but you cannot run fast
enough to escape it. The
world, for the most part, pretends
the Cross does not exist. The
world keeps pretending because sin
cannot coexist with Christ's love.
If there was ever a time in the
world when you should kneel before
His laser-like power of love and
redemption from the Cross, it is
now. In your personal life,
you face the consequences of
catastrophes in the world that are
human in origin and for which there
seems no human fix.
As much as you want to paint a great
picture of how wonderful things are
in your life, you know you are but
just a breath away from death.
Every person faces death that can
occur at any moment. You may
not be able to stand the horrible
thought that death can be so close.
However, the great shadow of the
Cross is not the shadow of death.
The shadow of the Cross is a
remarkable shadow of Life. The
shadow of the Cross is not a shadow
at all for the shadow of the Cross
is a transforming Light that gives
love, grace, wisdom, and everlasting
life. In this shadow that is
not a shadow, you can find eternal
life if you will but look up at Him
who is breathing His last breath
just for you. You may be
afraid to look up at Him. You
may have multitudes of excuses and
have bins full of issues at the
ready to avoid any real look at
Christ dying just for you. Do
not be afraid, for He loves you.
The shadow of the Cross hangs over
His church. Every great work
in the church has stresses and
strains that can rip apart His
precious work on earth. A
choir practice time is changed and
someone gets bent out of shape.
A church committee votes to go ahead
on some task and someone violently
disagrees. A church authority
issues an opinion or edict that sets
off an explosion among the laity.
All these matters within the church
are matters that seem important but
are not important because the Cross
is being ignored.
Yes, there are day to day activities
that bug you half to death, but when
you finish your work at the end of
the day, all things should melt away
in His glory and grace. In His
love at the Cross, committee
meetings carry no importance.
In His love at the Cross, matters
that cause explosions of anger and
outrage cannot exist. In the
glory and grace that shines down
from His Cross, your ego becomes
humble contrition caused by a
melting heart. It is this
melting of the heart from His love
that so frightens away the doubter,
the disbeliever, the sinner, and the
disagreeable. A melting heart
cannot disagree, it cannot rail
against old wrongs, it cannot shoot
bullets and it cannot launch
In the shadow of your Savior's
suffering on the Cross, you
experience a darkness of shame that
amazingly transforms you as you
surrender your life to Him. As
you bow before Him in sorrow, your
darkness of shame is cast away from
you as He speaks the words "forgive
them" to His Father and your Father
Your world will end some day.
Perhaps some day soon all that you
know and all that you cherish will
disappear. Yet, because He was
willing to die for you then you know
that this present world is not your
real home. You know that just
beyond the floating clouds there
awaits for you another beautiful and
marvelous world. You know that
when the last trumpet sounds there
will be a transformation for you.
You know that your decrepit old body
here on earth will be transformed
into an everlasting new body full of
His Light and His Love.
Question: So what difference does
anything make? Answer:
Nothing makes any difference as you
gaze at His sacrifice on the Cross.
In Christ, there are no differences.
When you see Christ on the Cross,
there are no burning issues.
At the Cross, anger, bitterness, and
inner turmoil disappear. At
the Cross, there is only a
prevailing love that shuts down the
anger of the heart. At the
Cross, you are joined in a unity of
awe and worship for Him. At
the Cross, you are truly one in the
bond of love.
Shepherd's Care Ministries
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