Nail
Photo credit Emma Lindner (my sister!)

You wake up in the morning. Maybe you turn on the news. Maybe you check your phone. Maybe you review your schedule.

The day begins, perhaps before you are ready for it. The earth spins on its axis and dances around the sun. It will not wait for you.

Before you know it, time catches you in a whirlwind of activity. Billions of people over all the world, each existing in their own lives, keep pace with Earth’s revolutions, or at least try.

It is difficult to avoid what you do not want to see or hear: angry politics, tragic deaths, atrocious crimes. As the earth spins in a rhythm, the world spins out of control. This chaos is a train wreck from which you cannot tear your eyes.

Maybe you leap forward to try to change it. Maybe you look to the sky and shake your fist. Maybe you mumble to yourself about it as you go about your day. Maybe, somehow, you ignore it.

When it comes down to brass tacks, though, like it or not we all have to live in it. We build our lives in a broken world.

What if, when you wake in the morning, you take a few moments, before entering the craze of obligations and frustrations, to remember the cross?

What if you started every morning remembering what happened on Good Friday? What if you made a point every day to think about why Good Friday exists?

You, out there, I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you believe. What I do know is that we live in the same world, we are affected by the same global events, and we share the same basic needs.

I know that whoever you are, you and I have in common the tendency to make wrong choices and perform wrong deeds.

I know that whoever you are, for both of us alike God nailed His Son to a cross so that the our wrongs do not need to tear us down.

I know that whoever you are, Jesus loved you enough to endure a criminal’s death – a crucifixion, the most brutal punishment of the Roman Empire.

“Greater love has none than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13).

The three-day story that began on the cross at Gethsemane is an answer to our struggles to change the world, or our cursing of it, or our mumbling about it, or our silence toward it. It is God’s answer to the tormenting question “What is the world coming to?”

The world is coming to the cross.
It is coming to Easter.

There’s a place where mercy reigns
And never dies
There’s a place where streams of grace
Flow deep and wide

Where all the love I’ve ever found
Comes like a flood
Comes flowing down

-Chris Tomlin, “At the Cross”