30 March 2024

When I enter a chapel for the first time, I always look for the cross. When I find it, my eyes become fixed on it and my heart stirs with gratitude for what it means to me. The cross compels a response from believers. Hymn-writer Isaac Watts put it like this: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.’

The cross holds the weight of the whole world, but somehow sight of it – brings me clear into the picture. It holds my sin, my shame, my pride; and it holds yours too. For Jesus took all sin, out of love, so that we don’t have to suffer. And, with his final breath, he left it there: It is finished. But the cross does not dwell in death and darkness. Its power is so abundantly life-giving that it brings death to death! It brings salvation, healing, transformation, and reconciliation. Throughout eternity, the cross of Christ stands – so that we never forget that we are loved by God.

We don’t want to remain at the cross of Good Friday – Jesus is no longer there! He left that place of deep suffering and sacrifice for something greater; resurrected life, that we are invited to share! With Paul, we can say: ‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.’

My prayer, this Easter, is that we would seek opportunity to sit at the foot of the cross. To look upon it – in weeping, in gratitude, in confession – and accept that, no matter what, God loves us. 

Like Paul, may we take full advantage of the life Christ has given us, no longer living for ourselves. May we be like the women who ran from the tomb to tell the disciples of the good resurrection news; like them, may we understand that our faith is best lived out on our feet, excited to share what Jesus has done for us. And let us sing aloud our salvation story, confident in the knowledge that love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Commissioner Shelley Hill currently serves at International Headquarters as World Secretary for Women's Ministries.

Tags: WM News, WM Resources, Women's Ministries