“Love without a Cross has no backbone. Love without a Cross can’t stand – because it’s only about feel-good and not about being made new. While political correctness may say, “Only talk of ‘Love’ and no messy cross and maybe we’ll find one of many ways to the good life,” Jesus quietly offers: “Come to Me at the Cross, all you are heavy laden and burdened and weary and messy: I am the way to the eternal good life.” Ann Voskamp
The headlines have been screaming out lately. Mayhem, murder, chaos. It’s starting to hit the proverbial fan, and more than ever we need discernment and truth. Long story short, we have to get back to the cross. This post from Ann Voskamp this past weekend was direct and to the point. It was so refreshing. The cross is so offensive to so many. The cross reminds us that we can’t do it on our own.
She writes, “”Maybe somewhere along the line we just wanted to become people of inoffensive Love – not people of the offensive Cross?” As Christians, our job isn’t to gloss over the hard things. How often we hide the Truth we know under a bushel so we don’t ruffle any feathers.
I read another blog post on the same subject that pleaded with believers to speak kind words to one another and make the good things we do outweigh the bad. People gushed. I read through the comments, and I can assure you, I was the only one not gushing. Of course we need to do good and teach it to our children. But checking off our Christian “to-do list” isn’t our biggest problem here. There is an unspeakable evil rising up that requires more than us sticking to the Golden Rule. It requires us to surrender ourselves to the one and only thing that can defeat such evil – and that is at the foot of the cross at the feet of Jesus.
This isn’t popular, apparently. Even among believers. It’s easier to say “oh well, God is in control” and go on living in the bubble we’ve created. It’s easier not to think about it because if we do, it just might challenge everything we’ve been believing and that is pretty scary. Am I going to be ok? Are my kids going to be ok? Is this going to ever affect me directly one day? We need to look up once in awhile with clear eyes to see and ears to hear what Jesus is telling us in all this. Because all the answers are in His Word and we can’t be afraid of asking the hard questions.
The cross we are called to is rugged. It’s full of splinters and rough edges and it’s bloody and messy. But from those wounds come our healing if we are willing to stay there. In our rush to just make sure “Love wins”, we have to be careful not to take actual Love out of the equation. We’ve turned it into something it isn’t. The fake plastic crosses have to go. Yes they are smooth and nice to look at and don’t require a lot of upkeep. But they are impostors and they are holding us back. The real cross requires things of us that may not always be comfortable, but they are always right. The “good life” isn’t a life full of unoffensive, plastic crosses. The real “good life” is spent at the real Cross, with a real Jesus, dealing with real problems. Messy as it may be, offensive as it may be, that is where we will see good overcoming evil.