On Monday evening, while on holiday with my family in France, my heart sank as I saw the images of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris go up in flames. This beautiful 850-year-old cathedral was being destroyed on television screens right in front of our eyes as firefighters tried to quickly save whatever was left.
The following morning, we were greeted with a new sight. The cathedral was still smouldering in places, but there were pictures on social media of the interior of the building. There, among the charred ruins, was a cross standing proudly above all the wreckage the blaze had left. This cross, this cross of Jesus, was shining brightly in the darkness, intact, and it reminded us that Jesus not only died on the cross, but he rose again.
What a powerful symbol of hope in the middle of such devastation.
As I thought about it, it reminded me that in a world ravaged by the blaze of sin, in a world devastated by suffering, uncertainty, and injustice, the cross still stands firm and intact. But it is not the cross of Jesus that can save us. That is just a symbol. It is the Jesus of the cross who has the power to bring hope in the middle of hopelessness, to bring healing where there is suffering and pain.
Over 2000 years ago, Jesus went to the cross willingly to die for all of humanity, and the message of the cross is just as relevant today as it was then.
On Good Friday, we mark this important and life-changing event. For some, this day will be a quiet and reflective day, and for others, as they remember all that Jesus has done for them, it will be a day of thankful rejoicing. If you do not yet know the hope and healing that a relationship with Jesus can bring, I would love to point you back to the Bible, to God’s Word, to John 3:16, which explains what happened that day.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).
As we spend this weekend remembering the death and the resurrection of Jesus, may you be reminded that no matter what we face, in Jesus there is always hope.
* Photo credit: (Image by Philippe Wojazer @Reuters)