I think I saw the question on Facebook shared by one of my irreligious friends. "Why do Christians wear torture devices around their necks?"
Why? Because the cross symbolizes Christ's death and resurrection, our freedom from sin and our connection with God. The cross, for Christians, has shed its historical form and come to mean salvation. It's simple, beautiful, and full of depth that does -- even now -- echo of pain and suffering and the brutal effects of sin. The cross is a picture of redemption where God takes what man meant for evil and turns it into good.
I'm still thinking about Easter. (I'm not the only blogger, which is nice.) And what struck me this year is that the Easter Story is one of the few times we Christians dwell on the violent, imperfect, and redemptive. Too often, I think, we tend to shy away from the violent and imperfect. I know I'd rather ignore the wider world and keep things "safe for the whole family," enjoying my peace and comfort. Christian martyrs dying daily? Rather not think about that. Girls sold into the sex industry? Too horrible to consider! Christians struggling with serious sin? Rather pretend I don't have issues, thank you very much.
Easter breaks through this. Instead, we come up with Easter images and activities that are, well, ...horrifying. When I first saw that post a couple weeks ago, I was struck by a similar feeling my non-Christian friends must experience if they actually notice a cross necklace. It's so other than my cushy American life is used to (which is somewhat ironic given the nature of our television shows and movies).
But we love Easter because it's redemptive. Indeed, without the violence and imperfection, the redemption wouldn't have happened. The cross -- not to mention the betrayal, scheming, sorrow, and loss before and after -- provides hope because that is the culmination of Christ meeting us in our human blood, sweat, and tears. ...and then doing something none of us could in rising from the dead days later!
Like so many other places in Scripture, God meets us where we are and calls us upward. Sonlight often mirrors this approach, including content that rather bothers some people. But for Sonlighters, violence and imperfection do not rock our world. Indeed, through the ups and downs of history, experienced in the incredible books we read together, we see redemption at work.
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