Jakarta, 15 September 2014
A Christian Pilgrim
THE POWER OF THE CROSS
(A biblical reflection on the FEAST OF THE TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS – Sunday, 14 September 2014)
Gospel Reading: John 3:13-17
First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9; Psalms: Psalm 78:1-2,34-38; Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
The Scripture Text
No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:13-17 RSV)
Since around six months ago a volcano in Middle Java, Mount Slamet, has shown increasing activities. People living in surrounding areas have been alerted, to be ready to see and experience the worst. Local municipalities have prepared themselves for any contingency because an eruption is estimated to happen any time.
A volcanic eruption rips open a mountain. A powerful avalanche rushes down a slope and levels everything in its path. A raging flood runs through a ravine at a furious pace. In each of these scenes we see manifestations of incredible power. We see how nothing can stand in their way, how anything that comes into contact with these forces is overrun.
Today the Church celebrates the triumph of the CROSS. As volcanoes, avalanches, and raging floods are three of the most powerful natural forces we know, so the cross of Jesus is the most powerful spiritual force in the entire universe.
Think about the power of the cross. Has any other single act in history won forgiveness for every sin that has ever been committed? Has any other event completely defeated the devil and all his minions in their attempt to control our lives and move us away from God? Has any other event been powerful enough to rip the veil that separated heaven from earth and reveal a new and living way to the heavenly Father?
Like dynamite, the cross of Jesus has the power to blast away any deeply ingrained pattern of sin in our lives. Like a mighty flood, it can wash all anger, fear, and despair from our hearts and minds. Like an avalanche, it can shower down on us the love of God in a way that destroys any obstacle to His presence. This cross is our way of victory because it points to a new day, a new hope, a new joy.
How about you, dear Sisters and Brothers? Have you seen a pattern exploded as you’ve turned to the Lord for help? Have you seen a wounded relationship that seems beyond saving turn around over time? Then today is your day to rejoice along with all the angels and saints. Today is your day to be awed by the impact the cross has had – and will continue to have – on your life and the lives of those you love. The cross of Christ – radiant and triumphant – can overcome every spiritual, physical, or emotional obstacle to God’s love.
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, I marvel at the power of Your cross. I sincerely believe that Your death and resurrection have won my complete redemption. With joy, I celebrate the triumph of Your cross – even over those situations where I have yet to taste Your victory. Amen.
Jakarta, 12 September 2014
A Christian Pilgrim
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