The Resting Place of Sin

At 3pm on that first Good Friday Jesus threw His final pain-filled cry into all time.

An indisposed and disinterested world may have heard, but it did not reply or lament.

Shrouded in both the darkness of His soul and the supernatural blackness of this day - the Son of God died!

Only His very closest friends watched Him die that day, most had long fled. Mid-afternoon was as hidden as mid-night.

Bravely Joseph of Arimathea sought and gained permission to claim the body of his abandoned Messiah. Now removed from both the world and suffering this disfigured body gained a resting place.

The Cross remained vertical but Jesus was laid horizontal. The cross remained for all to see while Jesus lay as 'out-of-sight' in the cave as He was on the Cross to almost all mankind.

The Cross is the most revolutionary image of all time. It's emptiness shows His sinlessness while its fullness reveals His suffering.

By the fourth century AD the crucifix was held high as the picture of salvation until the 1500s.

It was just five centuries ago, during The Reformation that Jesus was again lifted from the Cross, the crucifix became sanitised - the cross again empty. No picture for lament.

The empty crucifix, that wonderful symbol of resurrection has now become a metaphor of intense satisfaction, as Christians safely lounge on a sofa printed with - unmerited forgiveness for all is grace.

Today an empty crucifix remains a visually cleansed cross; the witness of suffering removed, the presence of pain absent.

Yet the imprint of Calvary must remain a crucifix, for the full Cross is the permanent resting place of sin.  A nailed, listless body hanging in a merciless death revealed perfect love and Heaven's righteousness.

An empty cross is comfortable but a crucifix is the model of Christian life!

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)

Today's Soul Snippet:

"As Christians living in the spirit we are called to pass on the tenderness of God." ~ Brennan Manning

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#(Thanks to the late Brennan Manning for this inspiration from The Signature of Jesus, Pub. Multnomah Books, USA 1996)