Focal Passage: Luke 23: 33, 35-49
One evening, early in my tenure at First Baptist, while I was driving back to Sylva from a trip to Asheville on highway 74 I began the climb up Balsam Mountain and noticed something to my right on another peak.
I realized as I drew closer it was a lighted cross and I later found out that a family placed it there in memory of a son that had died at a young age. Now as I drive this all too familiar route I am comforted by the sight of this cross on my journeys.
It tells me that I am not far from home, but in that lighted cross I am also reminded that a far greater home is promised to us through what happened on the cross of Calvary.
In Luke 23:33, 35-49 the cross is the central point as Christ is taken to the place called “the Skull” and the fulfillment of God’s plan for our salvation is put in place.
Many times the questions must arise concerning the events surrounding the death of Christ, and all that happened.
Why would the Savior die as a mere criminal?
Why would people be allowed to mock Him?
This form of death was so shameful in the ancient world, but this was different. In this horrible moment Christ was raised to beauty for our sakes.
The beauty of the cross could not be hidden by a sign that mockingly proclaimed Jesus, “King of the Jews.” It only diminished the Jewish authorities who were offended by such a title.
The beauty of the cross could not be hidden by two criminals hanging beside our Savior.
Their deeds had placed them in that moment, but as one of them realized, simply calling upon Christ opened entry to “paradise.”
Even the extreme darkness that covered the earth from noon to three could not hide the beauty of the cross. In this time of darkness the Temple curtain was ripped apart as the way to God was to be opened by the death of Christ.
Behind this curtain was a place called the “Holy of Holies,” in essence the place where God was to reside.
This area is referenced in Hebrews 9:3, 8.
It would now be possible to approach the Lord because of that which Christ is doing upon the cross.
As Christ cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit,” (v. 46) His true beauty came into view to all who had witnessed the events.
Those who had mocked, those who loved, and even a Roman centurion acknowledged His righteousness.
Each time I climb Balsam Mountain on a clear evening and I see the lighted cross to my right I am reminded, there is a beauty in the cross.