Suffering Savior :: Strong Deliverer
Guest Post by Wendy Booth
“On a recent trip to Texas, I took a day with my family to visit the Spanish missions in San Antonio. This visit coincided with my first practice of Lent. Being raised in a protestant church, this was never something I had observed. So to help me on my journey I had been reading thru the book Bread and Wine – Readings for Lent and Easter.
One chapter that I had recently read had caused me to view the image of Christ on the Cross much differently. It was chapter 23, the Crucified by Kahlil Gibran. As I mentioned previously I had been raised in a certain denomination in the protestant faith (no need to be specific) and therefore we didn’t have crucifix’s in our home, hang them in our churches and we didn’t wear them around our necks,etc. I was always told, Christ is not on the cross anymore and therefore we don’t have those. It was almost as if it was shameful for him to be there, like it showed him in a weakened state. But what I loved about this chapter was that it seemed to portray him as strong upon the cross. He wasn’t there because he couldn’t get off. He was there because He chose to stay there.
“The Nazarene was not weak! … Jesus was not a bird with broken wings. He was a raging tempest who broke all crooked wings”. (Kahlil Gibran, Bread and Wine )
So as I sat in the Mission San Jose in San Antonia I gazed up at the image of Christ on the Cross in the hushed silence of this beautiful church. I remembered what I had read. In the reverence and in the shadow of that cross, I was able to look upon it with a different perspective. I did not need to pity the image of the Son of God as he hung and bled for me. Instead I breathed in the strength that I imagined that it took for Him to remain on that cross. I saw a love so strong that He was willing to experience separation from the Father that I might have communion with Him. He showed his power in his restraint not to call 10,000 angels to his defense against false accusations and horrific torture.
I don’t know how long I sat there and viewed the image of the crucified Christ. I know I did not sit there and feel despair or sadness. Instead my heart was full of gratitude for the power and strength that led to death. A death that would give me life opened my eyes to His strength. I believe now that I realize the power it took to stay on that cross and it is much easier to understand the magnitude of His love for me and for you. He eventually was lowered from that cross to the grave. But death was nothing for this omnipotent Christ. He was and is an Overcomer. He defeated Death. He is risen and I will celebrate.”
Wendy lives in the beautiful mountains of Sevierville, Tennessee with her husband, Mark–who just happened to take this lovely picture of his wife! As realtors, they love to help people find a home in the Smokey Mountains. With two adult children and their spouses and six amazing grandchildren, their lives are full of love and family as they walk this journey with Jesus together.Photo credit: Mark Booth at the Mission San Jose’ , San Antonio, Texas