Pulpit reflections: Jesus on the Cross
Do not be afraid, for I know that you’re looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:5-6 (NIV)
You don’t have to be an art lover to know the name “Michelangelo.” Many people consider him to be one of the greatest artists of all time. Personally, I like Bob Ross.
It is apparently recorded that Michel could also be a pretty good public speaker. One day, at least according to the story given to me, he got his feathers ruffled and addressed some of his fellow artists.
With some disappointment in his voice, he asked them, “Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures on the one theme of Christ in weakness, Christ on the cross, and most of all, Christ hanging dead? Why do you concentrate on that passing episode as if...the curtain dropped down there on disaster and defeat? That dreadful scene lasted only a few hours. But through unending eternity, Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs!”
I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was far more representative of His power and commitment than it was of any weakness. With that said, I do believe the artists had a point. Jesus’ life, suffering, death and resurrection are important... unbelievably important. Without those parts of His life, we have no salvation.
But it needs to be remembered that Jesus’ life did not permanently end with His death upon the cross on Mount Calvary.
There is a resurrection and it’s that event that shouts the triumphant message that Jesus’ sufferings and His sacrifice have been accepted!
No longer is death in control. No longer is the grave the ultimate end for humanity. Because Jesus has risen, we also, will rise. It should not only be for Easter Sunday, but I believe that every day is a good day for all Christianity to shout the ancient greeting of the church. “Christ has risen! He is risen indeed!”
May the risen Christ always live within your heart.