I’ve had a really hard month emotionally. After an amazing summer I fell very flat through September, sinking into depression and feeling a long way from God’s love. During this time I have been pondering the cross and how we present it as a symbol of our faith.
Jesus died in pain and anguish on a rough cross. The timber would have been cheap, full of splinters and with sharp edges. Jesus had to carry this cross for hours and then he was nailed to it to die.
I don’t know about you, but the crosses I own are all smooth and beautiful; they are made well and a pleasure to hold. From the cross I wear everyday to holding crosses and crosses on my wall; they are all decorative symbols as much as religious ones.
When did we make the cross a thing of beauty? And is it helpful for those who are exploring what Jesus is all about? Or for us when we are suffering our own pains and tortures?
I made the cross in the picture. I made a cross shape from rough wire and then I covered it with rainbow coloured material. I literally decorated the cross with rainbows. When I did this I was trying to symbolise the promise of God that is contained in the cross. But I now think the key aspect of the cross I made is the wire beneath; this is the pain and suffering given for us.
Do we decorate the cross too much?
I think we do, and usually it is helpful; but sometimes we need to know we’re not alone in our suffering. God knows how it feels because Jesus lived it; He is with us through it all, even when it’s not pretty.