As of late, I have been admiring how beautiful the leaves are. Because I live in New England, I often take the foliage for granted, oblivious to the fact that leaves are changing around me. But one day the Lord opened my eyes to notice their beauty, and in that moment I thought, “How can something dying be so beautiful?” It was as if I was looking at the leaves for the first time. While looking at them, I was reminded of the Cross of Christ.
How can the death of a man be beautiful? Some people look at the cross and may not see beauty in it. I can understand that because what is beautiful about a man being beaten, whipped, and dragged through town carrying a cross? Nothing! There is nothing beautiful about having your hands and feet nailed to the cross and a crown a thorns pressed into your head. There is nothing beautiful about gasping for air every time you tried to say a word, and just the pain screaming through your body. There is nothing beautiful about that scene, about the crucifixion, about the cross.
But to me, when I look at the cross, I see a story of love, forgiveness, redemption, and sacrifice. Although the cross is as gruesome as it is, it is the story of how Jesus sacrificed His life out of love for us, so that the Father could forgive us of our sins and we could be redeemed and live with Him forever in eternity. The cross is not something that should be thought about only during Easter, but every day of our lives.
How can someone be so beautiful dying? It is because He died out of love. He was the ultimate sacrifice. Because of the selfless sacrifice of the man Jesus, the cross is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I want to challenge you to meditate on the image of Jesus on the cross. The Bible says that it pleased the Father to bruise Him (Isaiah 53:10). From the beginning of time, the Father desired you, the Son desired you, and they knew together that the cross was the only way they would be able to receive what they desired, which is you spending eternity with them.