The Gory, Bloody, Glorious Cross

If faith was born on one of the bloodiest deaths in history, why isn’t ours?

A few days ago, a good friend of ours said, “People have forgotten the gory, bloody cross.” It got me thinking. Of course we haven’t forgotten the cross, but maybe we’ve forgotten that our very salvation and faith were born out of the scourged and crucified Christ. In that picture, faith isn’t the easy believing Christians have made it out to be. Jesus cried, “Why have you forsaken me?” He suffered greatly, but for some reason we’ve come to believe that we don’t have to do so, which is a little strange to me.

Faith isn’t the delicate, soft, simple minded and gentle belief we’ve been taught it is. Christianity doesn’t mean our lives will be constantly filled with happiness and that wealth will be pouring out of our hands every second. These things will come, of course, since Heaven is our home, but most of the journey isn’t so. It will have times of bliss, as Christ is always walking with us, but it will also lead us to times of suffering, which, if the crucifixion is any example, is where our faith is born.

But as my friend pointed out, Christians have forgotten this. Faith is no longer the picture of Calvary, but of wealth and happiness. However, not all associate themselves with that picture. Does that mean they’re wrong? Does that mean God has forsaken them, that they’ve departed from His will? It’s actually quite the contrary.

Faith and dependence is born out of these times of doubt and depression. In times of poverty and disease. It’s where God makes Himself known. It’s where He becomes more than theology or a person looking down from the heavens. It’s where love is born and faith grows. Where those with wealth and happiness may fall; those crawling through the mines continue in strength and glory. Faith isn’t the gentle woman who lets down her hair, it’s the solider who gets dirty and never gives up. Never stops trusting.

It’s interesting to me exactly how faith dies. It dies longing. It dies unfulfilled. It dies on a cross. Maybe faith isn’t meant to fulfill us. Maybe faith isn’t meant to bring us healing and wealth here. Maybe faith’s sole purpose is to set our eyes on the home we’re promised. Where we will be truly fulfilled and happy, setting our gaze on the one who walked the same road. Jesus died knowing He’ll rise. He died looking at the relationship He’ll have with us.

There are many Christians out there who believe in things they could never attain, who believe in promises yet unfulfilled, who are looking for a way home. There are some who live long, some who die young, but our faith was never meant to fulfill our desires here, but to fulfill Christ’s, who longs for nothing more than to hold us in His embrace. The journey may hurt. It may lead us to our death, but the truth is, death is not our end, our faith was always leading us to it. To our beginning.

Lets not forget the gory, bloody, glorious cross. Lets remember that our faith is the faith of the fire, and no amount of suffering and darkness can silence its praise. We all long for home, but it’s the ones who keep climbing that find their way.

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