Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
Do you recognise this flower or the pods? They form the basis of some things that you use every day. You may not recognise them in this form, but this is a cotton flower and, above, two cotton buds. I grew these in my Bahri garden, just for fun. I still have a woven basket full of the cotton that I brought back to England when we had to leave Sudan in 2003.
Cotton shirts, cotton dresses, and many more clothes are made, at least in part, from cotton itself. We recognise a shirt or a dress, but we don’t recognise the cotton flower or the cotton pod from which it was made. It seems totally different in one form to the other.
At Good Friday and at Easter Day we Christians think especially about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This too can make us puzzle. What was actually happening all those years ago just outside of Jerusalem?
On the cross, dying a human sinner’s death, was the Creator of the world. Your Creator and mine.
With a crown of thorns prickling blood from his divine and human head, God the Son was mocked by a few of the people he was dying to help. He was saving you and saving me, taking sin’s penalty of death on to himself.
Something seems terribly wrong. Is it possible that God himself is dying? Are Jesus’ claims true or false? “I and the Father are one”, he had said.
A little earlier on, at the death of a friend, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”. Was Jesus’ death on that cross going to lead anywhere?
Well, yes it was!
He continued: “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”. Jesus’ cross definitely leads beyond this present life, on into the next. Jesus’ cross leads to life in heaven!
Finally, Jesus asked directly of all who heard him, (and indirectly of us who read him):
“Do you believe this?”.
I also ask you now, …….. do you believe this?
If you do, you are on your way to your heavenly home!
And Jesus’ cross has helped you, even if you did not recognise it at first.
(See John 11:25-26)