Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday 2016 - Mystery of the Cross

Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

During this season of reflections and renewal, join me in exploring the Bread of Life. When we encounter Jesus Christ, this Living Bread feeds, satisfies, and transforms us. Come on this journey and remember this Bread “is broken for you”. ~ Donna Oswalt

Many will follow [Christ] as far as the breaking of bread, but few will remain to drink from His passion. Thomas a’Kempis

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 NASB

The cross creates visual and emotional pictures for us. While hard to fathom the violence of crucifixion, harder to imagine is the evil from within humanity that would commit such acts. Morton Kelsey, an American Episcopal priest and psychologist, writes, “The cross is the symbol, alive and vivid, of the evil that is in us, of evil itself.” History recalls countless examples of the evil within humanity, the horrors that people inflict on each other. Most often we view the cross as empty in celebration of the risen Christ; however, the crucified Jesus on the cross, no matter how hard to face, reveals the very depth of our depravity. If we stand at the foot of this cross, we come with those who crucified Jesus; we must stand with the cowards, the self-righteous, the betrayers, stand with those who represent “civilized vices” like fear, bigotry, deceit, and indifference. In the shadow of this cross, we face our own darkness; yet, this revelation is not the end but a beginning of transformation.  Christ endures unimaginable suffering so Hope can be born for all.  In defeating evil, the mystery of the cross allows Perfect Love to be “pierced for our rebellion …beaten so we could be whole”. – dho

You Are More ~ Tenth Avenue North (click here for video)

Perfect Love, let the cross disturb my indifference, my selfish acts, my fear – for You suffered the everlasting effects of evil… for me. Let the cross illumine my weaknesses, my failed-attempts to love, my empty promises. In the shadow of Your cross I come face to face with my demons, no matter how I try to disguise them. Let me embrace the cost of Your suffering, especially when I pray, Lord, always give us this bread. - dho

Focus Point: “You are more than the choices that you’ve made; you are more than the sum of your mistakes… You’ve been remade.” ~ Tenth Avenue North

All rights reserved; copyright 2016 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author; Breathing Room For My Soul (blog)~ Follow on Twitter @soulchat

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