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John Stott in his book, What Christ Thinks of the Church writes, “The cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough to it for its sparks to fall on us.”
This quote by Stott helped me to visualize the need for God’s sparks from the cross to fall on me once again. After so many Good Fridays, it is easy for me to speak about the cross from a third person perspective. It doesn’t help that I had to prepare and preach on the cross every year during this time. After awhile, it becomes more of head knowledge than heart knowledge.
I will never forget the times when the subject of the cross came up and how it would bring tears to my eyes. I think that initial realization of the horrors of the cross really humbled me. To think that it was my sins that crucified Christ on the cross was a bit overwhelming. Even when the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” came out, it helped me to see the suffering and the crucifixion of Christ with a whole new perspective.
Recently, I was challenged to revisit the cross. Usually people say that the longer you have been a Christ-follower, the more humble you become. I think the truth behind that statement lies in the fact that the longer you have journeyed with the Lord, the more you realize your need for Christ. We start to see more of our weaknesses and our sinfulness. We realize how different we are from Christ. The fragility and flawed nature of our character remind us of our need for mercy and grace.
This is why the closer we are to the blazing fire of the cross, the more our love for Christ will be kindled by the sparks of the cross. The cross magnifies our sinfulness, while at the same time amplifies God’s love and grace. This is why we are constantly drawn back to the cross. May the sparks fly on us as we stay near the cross, so that our hearts will burn with a fire that will never die.