Driving down Route 15 today, I saw something that struck me as odd and yet very fitting. What was it, you might ask? On the side of the highway, there are three wooden crosses, two white ones and one yellow/gold one in the center. Perhaps you’ve seen these elsewhere. I drive past these crosses nearly every day, but today was different.
Today, there was someone pulled over by a police man directly underneath these crosses. At first I thought, “that’s an odd place to stop,” but the more I thought about it, the more appropriate it seemed. Here was a man, caught breaking the law, parked at the foot of the cross. Aren’t we all guilty of breaking the law, i.e. God’s Law? Don’t we all run the risk of being caught by the long arm of that law and being punished? The answer? Yes.
That is, until Christ came. Until Christ bore our sins and burdens on the cross, we were in bondage to sin. However, through his death and resurrection, we have been miraculously set free to have new, abundant life and the freedom with which to live it. As Paul says in Romans 6:3-11:
3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Being raised to new life in Christ means that we have forgiveness and that we are free from sin, but it also means that we are free to respond joyfully to God’s magnificent grace. We are free to live boldly, loving without bounds and giving of ourselves to others.
In effect, I see the man pulled over under the cross as a fitting picture of all of us being caught in sin under the Law. We all need to come to the foot of the cross to find forgiveness for what we have done or what we have failed to do. It is only there, with the cross in plain view, that we can begin to understand what being forgiven for our sins and what the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, really means. All things revolve around what Christ has done for us on that tree.
I’m pretty sure the man who was pulled over wasn’t focused on Law and Gospel or thinking too much about the crosses, and I hope he had a safe and uneventful trip. For my part, I am thankful that I was reminded once again how important it is to keep the cross of Christ ever before us.
© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.