When we set out on a family outing, I would not have guessed the small town of Leakey (pronounced Lay-kee), Texas would be the origin of a spiritual insight regarding the power of the cross of Christ. God speaks in ways we often don’t imagine and can’t conceive before they occur.
Our Saturday drive took us along one of three roads in Texas referred to as the Twisted Sisters. These twisted roads are popular with motorcyclists. While our trip was in a car, the twists and turns, inclines and declines were no less exciting. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, the views were spectacular.
Our stop in Leakey before heading home provided more than just lunch. At the Catahoula Artisan’s Gallery & Gift Shop we found a beautiful hand carved wooden cross (pictured above). In addition to being lovely, I had the perfect spot for it in our new kitchen.
Over the following days, as I looked at the cross, it seemed God had more to say to me about this cross than that it was a lovely piece of artwork.
Without Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and following resurrection, the Christian faith would be empty and meaningless. God told Adam that he could eat the fruit of every tree in the garden of Eden except one, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The consequence of eating that fruit was death. (Gen 2.16-17). We all know the story. The serpent tempted Eve and as a consequence both she and Adam ate the fruit they were warned not to eat.
This one unfortunate decision allowed sin to enter the world. No one is exempt from sin. As a result, every one of us rightly deserves the consequence God warned would come: death. But instead of wielding His power like a sadistic tyrant, God chose to extend unbelievable mercy. He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our place in death. Each Good Friday, we remember His amazing sacrifice. Jesus suffered one of the most brutal, torturous deaths. By doing so, He satisfied God’s proclaimed sentence and allowed every believer to enjoy redeemed and restored relationship with our heavenly Father.
There are many, many variations of the cross, yet almost always the main part of the image is two perpendicular lines. As I looked at the cross from Leakey, God seemed to whisper that this was more in line with what Jesus’ cross really looked like.
Jesus hung on the cross, bearing the weight of all humanity’s sin. Remember this is the sin of every person who has lived, is living, and will one day live. That number is in the hundreds of billions of people. Jesus carried an enormously heavy burden, a burden that only the Son of God could carry. There is no description of the cross in scripture. Yet metaphorically, I can imagine that as Jesus bore His burden on the cross, the cross itself slumped and sagged under the heavy burden it held. And God seemed to whisper that this cross from Leakey represented that metaphorical image.
Studded With Jewels
Jesus bore such an unfathomable burden so that each person who chooses to believe in Him will once again experience personal and intimate relationship with a loving and merciful Father. Just as the turquoise in the Leakey cross adds to its beauty, so the cross, disfigured by the weight of Jesus and the burden He bore, is studded with the jewels of believers whose lives He has redeemed.
This Good Friday the Leakey cross will serve as a visual reminder of the enormous burden Jesus carried as He hung on the cross. It will as serve as a reminder each person who has chosen to believe in Jesus is a jewel that adorns an ugly cross with beauty.