My oldest granddaughter recently acquired a cell phone – ahead of her thirteenth birthday. She uses it predominantly for taking photos and reading. She loves photographing skies and flowers. A few days ago she captured this image of the sky.
A huge cloud cross dominates the picture. We can’t avoid seeing it.
On Good Friday we can’t avoid the cross, a symbol of God’s love.
Christianity is full of symbolism. We need only remember the ritual of animal sacrifice, an enacted symbol of the one perfect sacrifice to take away our sin and rebellion. Then there was the Passover lamb, sacrificed before the flight from Egypt, when lamb’s blood was painted on the lintel of each Israelite door to protect the people within from the Angel of Death’s retribution. Again, the lamb’s blood was a symbol of God’s redemption and pointed to “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
Jesus himself instituted the symbols of bread and wine to represent His body and blood.
“For I received from the Lord Himself that [instruction] which I passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is (represents) My body, which is [offered as a sacrifice] for you. Do this in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are [symbolically] proclaiming [the fact of] the Lord’s death until He comes [again].” (1Corinthians 11 vs 23-26 Amplified)
Some of these symbols, like blood and the cross, an instrument of torture, seem bizarre to us. Yet God uses these symbols to bring home to us the lengths to which He was prepared to go to restore relationship with us, and the breadth of His love for us.
I believe that Christ, through His Holy Spirit, also sends us little signs or symbols in our everyday lives to remind us how much He loves us. They will be personal to us. I believe the Easter sky was one such sign. We need only to keep our eyes open and lift our thoughts to Him as often as we can.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross. I don’t like to think about Your suffering on that Friday but it happened. And You did it for me. I cannot even get my mind around such great love. Thank You, thank You, thank You. Amen.