I’m standing at the foot of the cross looking up as man hangs dying. It was not the outcome I had expected all theses years. He was understood to be a Messiah. It had been foretold that he would come and save us from oppression, but now it looks like he’s the one being oppressed. The hopes, dreams and future of mankind seems in dire ruin as the salvation once promised is beaten, bloody, and going to die, an innocent man and by the very people he came to save. So embittered in their heats and driven by their own agendas they could not see the truth that was right in front of them. His love for them evident as he asked for their forgiveness for perpetrating this horrific act against him. I remember as he asked God to take this cup from him the night before in the Garden of Gethsemene and I now know he knew this was going to happen. It does not make it any easier to see my hopes dashed by this turn of events but I cannot help to look to a darker and bleaker future without him and wonder what exactly is to happen now.
Sometimes in our darkest hours we cannot see how God is working in our own lives. We have our own ideas of how things should be and cannot see what God has planned out of the bad for our good. The salvation was not a salvation from a worldly bondage but a spiritual one if only they had truly seen and heard what Jesus was trying to tell them. We have to put our trust in his ways. Our future may look dark and bleak after a job loss, breakup, divorce, or even death of a loved one and we wonder how this awful event can be used for our good. We beg God not to let this happen to us, but it does. Some question the goodness of God for such evils, but does such evil show the blinding goodness of God? How can We make it past this terrible part of my life and not focus on the bad, but the good? Where lies our perspective? In our own hopes, dreams, and goals or the ones of God? Is his plan better than mine or are we determined to cling to some idea that will never be? A part of me reaches a better and deeper understanding of this necessary evil. The cross would have never been in my plan, but where would we be without it? As I stand here and look up I now can see past the bad and focus on the love and salvation flowing from the foot of that cross and know as I put my trust in him everything will work out for my good and his glory. The old rugged cross may be seen as a failure in the perspective of the world, but to me it is an inspiration of good triumphing over evil. I, too, need to know and see that even in the darkest hour when things look the bleakest that God is working all things for my good. “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It is a promise I can trust. A promise delivered at the foot of the cross.