As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am auditing a composition honors class at the local junior college.  Our first major essay was to write on an object.  I chose the crucifix for a couple of reasons.  First it has significance for me and secondly, I want to continue to share the “good news” with young people.

So here is  part of what I had said about the crucifix.  Because the audience has different opinions regarding Christianity, I did not include bible verses.  I will simply quote from the essay

“I grew up Lutheran and eventually became a Lutheran pastor.  In my religious tradition a “dead” Jesus on a cross is almost a denial of the resurrection….I came to value the Crucifix, while learning from Leanne Payne.  Leanne had a significant healing ministry in which the Crucifix played a major role.  She has written, “Christian reality is diminished for us because it has been reduced to an abstraction…we need to be reminded that a crucifix is more than a valid symbol of truth, it is and always has been a central one.”  Then I stated, “I found healing for my wounded soul, in part, by focusing on Jesus dying on the cross.  I visualized him taking my pain and sins into his body.”

I write of wanting to make three points about the Crucifix.  “First, the cross depicts a compassionate and loving God, who has demonstrated the extend to which he loves humanity.  He was willing to suffer and die for the failures of each of us. I would like to reimage the Crucifix, not as a bloody portrait of a good man, with all the misconceptions surrounding the death of Jesus, but rather as ‘good news’ in a culture that is crying out for help. Briefly stated – Father, Son and Holy Spirit have lived in a loving relationship from all eternity.  At one point in history a loving heavenly Father, sent His Son to die for the failures of the human race.  The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in our hearts, making this reality a present  truth, bringing healing to our wounded souls.

Secondly, the story of Jesus and his death on the cross as a historical event is meant to provide a way home.  We have all wandered from home, that is, away fro a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.  Jesus came to provide a way back, through his death on the cross.  In a day when many in our culture struggle with issues of identity,  significance, belonging and loneliness, the cross boldly declares, “here is a way home.”

Thirdly…. the Crucifix represents a place where I can go with my problems and pain.  I visualize Jesus bearing them in his suffering for me.  Of equal importance is how I have been able to help others, by going with them to the foot of the cross to find healing for their wounded and broken souls. In simple terms – we can lay our problems at the foot of the cross.

I am simply telling my story and the significance the Crucifix  continues to have in my life.  I know of no other symbol that is more important to me.  That is why I tell my story.  I close by quoting one of the most familiar verses of the Bible.  This is a quote from the Message.  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16).