The cross is a painful channel of love.
John 19 v25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
It was like a sword piercing his mother’s heart (Luke 2:35) and Jesus through the blood falling from his head could see her pain and what she needed.
He had no material possessions to give to anyone. What he had left, his clothes, was being gambled away in front of him. We can only assume he had not had this conversation before. New ideas flow when pain is directed away from self.
All he had left was his love. Out of his love he gave his best friend to his mother. Out of the cross poured love.
But I have seen this in so many cross-carriers. The person whose heart is broken at the loss of a loved one thinking about the pain in other people’s lives. The person who has a terminal illness making sure their loved ones are going to be well cared for when they have gone. Love flowing through pain on the cross.
Christ followers direct their pain from themselves to others and love flows through. It’s a beautiful thing (as my friend often said).
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 only lasted 100 days. But during that time 800,000 citizens were brutalised and murdered by their own neighbours.
Though Hutu and Tutsi tribes are the same ethnic group, share the same language, lived and worked together, shared the same religion (mainly catholic), Tutsis and supportive Hutus were slaughtered by people they had co-existed peacefully with for generations.
Even from school age Tutsis became dehumanised.
They were called snakes and cockroaches.
The killings were horrific and sadistic.
Here is a story of a mother whose son was killed in that genocide.
The woman had nursed bitterness, grievance and thoughts of vengeance; she just wanted to find her sons killer and bring due punishment. But one night she had a dream and in the dream she was going down the street and saw a house and she knew it was a house of her enemy.
And she heard God say, “Go into the house”.
She said “I don’t want to go into the house”
She went into the house and God led her through many rooms and then up the stairs.
And He said “I want you to go up the stairs”
She said “I don’t want to go any further in this house”
“I want you to go up the stairs”
She went up the stairs, opened the door at the top, and found it led into heaven.
And she had a revelation.
That the path to heaven goes through the house of her enemy.
Two days later there was a knock on her door.
A young man is standing there at the door and he is shaking.
He says to her, “I am the man who killed your son. I place my life in your hands, whatever you want to do with me, I accept it. I have had no peace since I did what I did. And I will accept whatever. If you want to kill me, you can kill me.
If you want to turn me in to the authorities turn me into the authorities. Whatever you want, my life is in your hands.
And because she had a revelation from God, she said “I will not do any of this. But I do have one request. You must now become my son.”
She took him in and fed him at the table where she fed her son. He’s the same size so he wore his clothes. He actually moved in and became a son to her, because heaven passes through the house of her enemy.
Who is your enemy? Who is the person that hurt you? Would you believe that heaven goes through that house? It does. It’s called the cross. Pick it up today. Love is your most treasured commodity that no one will take from you. Give it today.