Holy Week Devotional Contest: Candy Arrington
In the Shadow of the Cross
“I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed One lives in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.” (Galatians 2:20 VOICE).
When I was seventeen, our minister of music invited me to join the “adult” choir. As a choir member, I’ve sung in many Easter presentations. For years our choir presented a passion play: a drama, in costume, detailing the final days of Jesus’ ministry on earth, his death, and resurrection.
Another brainchild of our minister of music was a “singing cross.” Church member architects and engineers designed huge, wooden risers in the shape of a cross that the choir could climb and stand on. Each year, the cross was erected in our sanctuary, and the choir presented Easter music from the cross.
Eventually, the suggestion was made to take the “singing cross” to the community. We sang on the cross at sunrise on Easter morning in various locations—the parking lot of a local drive-in restaurant, at the mall, the front steps of our church, and the back parking lot.
Some years, the weather cooperated; other years it didn’t. As we loaded the cross in the pre-dawn darkness, we might be shivering under our choir robes, watching snowflakes descend, fighting to stand upright in buffeting winds, or blinking rain from our eyes so we could see the choir director.
One year, the temperature dipped well below freezing. I grumbled internally, vowing this was my last year to sing on the cross. Then, in the midst of my complaint, I heard my Father’s voice, “Can you stand this discomfort for one hour? My son endured the cross on your behalf, hours of agony, nailed, dying, carrying the blackness of the sin of all mankind. Could you sing praises for one hour and remember his sacrifice?”
As the sun broke through the clouds, I sang on that cross with my whole being. Tears streamed down my face as I grasped anew the totality of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, for you.
Often, we complain and whine about inconvenience, discomfort, and timing that doesn’t suit our plans. We focus on the inconsequential or the urgent and forget the enormity of our sin and the free gift of salvation, a gift that allows us to start afresh and move forward.
Easter is so much more than a new outfit, a full church, family gatherings, egg hunts, and baskets brimming with treats. Easter is a time of remembrance, praise, and thanksgiving. This Easter, will you take time to think of the cross of Christ? Will you honestly confess your sins and repent? Will you ruminate on God’s great love for us in sending his son to die on our behalf? As you ponder, rejoice, for we live in the shadow of the cross, redeemed, ransomed, remade, and renewed.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, and speaker with over twenty years of writing and publishing experience. She frequently writes on the topics of faith, health, personal growth, and methods for moving through, and beyond, challenging life circumstances. Candy’s publishing credits include three traditionally published nonfiction books and hundreds of articles and stories in numerous print and online outlets including: Focus on the Family, AriseDaily.com, Inspiration.org, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest.