The picture of the cross that comes with this meditation looks a little odd doesn’t it? The arms are not at the same level as we often see the traditional empty cross. They are off-set as my old technology teacher would have said, well he probably would have said something along the lines of “They’re as straight as a dogs hind leg”. This was often the case when boys woodwork was held up to eyelevel and just part was a “gnats eyelash off”. “Sort it laddie” was the next instruction that usually followed. The real reason it was made this way is it’s a holding cross, when you hold it in your pocket, unseen, it feels natural.
The cross has such an important role in the life of the Christian, Good Friday often is depicted with Jesus being crucified. That in itself reminds me of a true story told me by a long standing friend some 45 years or so ago. She wanted to buy a Christian friend a cross to wear, so off she went to a local jewellers in town. When the assistant found out what was required out came a tray filled with all sizes and designs. The next comment floored me when, apparently for a little bit more my friend could buy one with, wait for it, “a little man on it”. The assistant obviously was not a Christian.
The occupied cross stands as a message that Jesus died for all, for the sins of everyone. The cruelty of any death by crucifixion does not bear really thinking about, yet He went through that for all of us without complaint. Others have died in that way over the centuries, two of my uncles, prisoners of war in Changi during WW2 spoke of men being crucified by bayonet for relatively minor offences. How many others died in the jungles of Burma without any others witnessing the atrocity?
The empty cross though carries a different message entirely, a message of hope. It says Jesus is no longer there but risen and gives us the hope of eternal life. So, as mentioned by others past, let us not be Good Friday people but Easter People, let us this Easter carry the message of the Risen Lord wherever we might find ourselves. Happy Easter everyone may the blessing, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ be with you all.
John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist