Lord, thank you for Cross. Thank you for the sacrifice. Thank you for sparing nothing to set an example that endures even in the worst of times.
If there is one thing that defines your act, it is love. The Cross is where love was hanged. It was a deliberate act, a premeditated deed. It stands as a mockery to what the world stands for. It is the world’s sore thumb. The world will never understand it.
You showed the world that there are things more lasting than gold or silver. At the Cross, you rejected the devil’s proposal twice. You neither bowed down nor gave in to his offers of riches, power and dominion over the world. In the wilderness, you rebuked him in words, and at the Cross, you rebuked him in deeds.
O Lord, the Cross drew the boundaries of freedom for me. It is a freedom to love without condition. It is a freedom to choose truth over lies. It is a freedom to give without taking, to sow in faith and to reap in hope, to persevere for a cause that represents the ultimate truth in this world, and to live an overcoming life.
The transforming power of the Cross is to set us free from desires that seek to imprison us. The Cross breaks all mirages of power, idols of ambitions and strongholds of blinding riches. It strips and lays bare the impoverishment of all human desires. Under its searchlight, the Cross unravel realities to show the ugly and destructive side of a heart that seeks only to serve itself and no one else. If the heart is above all deceiving, then the Cross is above all liberating.
For three days, as you hanged there, you captured the essence of what it means to be your follower. It was never about prosperity. It was never about possessing possessions. It was never about building mansions on earth. Neither was it about making this world our home nor using worldly culture to change worldly culture. For this love requires no human embellishments to reach the lost. Neither does this love need to be incentivized by the promises of abundant blessings to move hearts. The Cross has and will always be about love, your prevailing love. It transforms hearts just as it is. Just as we are.
Oh Lord, what makes the Cross an exceptional guide in this world is that it stands apart from this world. The Cross is an exception to the rule because it is sustained by an enduring and timeless purpose that seeks to rule our hearts with exceptional love. It is therefore separate from the world to show the world that there is a better way, the way of love.
No theology, philosophy or science is able to capture this love in the way you have embodied it at Calvary. This love makes all things beautiful. It makes all things new again.
History was a bystander to the deeds of this love. It witnessed this love going all the way. It did not fail. It did not give up. No flogging, nails or thorns could stop this love from finishing his work. And indeed it fulfilled the calling. It completed the race.
Oh Lord, that is what it means to be your follower. We are called to embody this love. We are called to demonstrate this love in everything we do. Only this love, this exceptional devotion, can transform both our hearts and the hearts of those who experience it through our words and deeds.
This love changes everything. It transforms all relationships. It nourishes the love of spouses. It sustains the bonds of friendships. It refreshes maternal and paternal devotions. It convicts and turns a rebellious heart around. It gives hope, deepens ties, encourages hearts, builds trust, empowers faith and breathes life into a broken and jaded soul.
For this reason Lord, this love will resist all human efforts to institutionalize it. It will resist our desires to keep it for ourselves. It will resist our misguided designs to imprison it within a building, trademark it to a person and tether it to human rules and regulations.
And this is why the Cross lies in an open hill, stripped bare and naked, broken and torn for our sake. No one owns it. No one has a prior right to claim it. No one can turn this love into a religious ritual to bind, a theological doctrine to impress, a commercial tool to exploit, or a charisma factor to entice, beguile and entrap.
This love is freely given, and it is freely received. It transcends time, institutions, personality and human rules. It is the cornerstone of our faith from the bleeding heart of our Saviour.
So, thank you Lord for the Cross. Thank you for the sacrifice. And this Christmas may mean many things to many people. But nothing defines the season better than the love that prevailed to the end – even to the end of time. Amen. Cheerz.