Charles Swindoll in his book, ‘The Darkness and the Dawn’ tells of two paintings he has seen relating to the cross of Christ.
Both paintings offer the same title, ‘The shadow of the cross.’
The first painting is a scene inside Joseph’s carpenter shop.
Jesus is portrayed as a young teenager, and He has paused from his work to look out the shop widow. In doing so, He is casting a shadow of the cross behind himself.
In the second painting, Jesus is depicted as an adolescent child running toward his mother. His arms are stretched out toward her, and the sun is at his back, casting a shadow of the cross before him.
Jesus lived His life knowing that every day he was one step closer to the cross.
It was not a secret that he kept to himself. It was his purpose; it was the Father’s plan.
Jesus at twelve years of age had already spoken and said to his worried parents who had lost him on a trip, “did you not know I must be about my father’s business?” Luke 2:49 NKJV
His face was set like flint toward the cross.
Mark 8:31-33 (NIV)
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus was not on man’s plan; he was fully submitted to his Father’s plan.
We are living in the day that the cross is under attack. That, which cannot be erased from history is trying to be erased not only from the world but also sadly from various churches as well.
If the world can’t get you to eliminate the cross, they will work toward getting you to minimize it.
But I want you to see today that the cross cannot ever been taken lightly, for it is the only hope the world has, there is no other answer.