In my presentation, Forgiven, part of the presentation is done on a most unusual cross. I keep the cross covered until it is ready to be presented. Still everyone can tell by it’s shape what it is. It’s not a plain wooden cross, nor is it a shiny golden cross. No, I call it The Cross of Sin. It’s a cross covered with stories of sin clipped from the headlines. Where I try to make most of my work beautiful, this piece is hideous. When I finish a presentation, I just add stories until it is covered again. I intend to continue using this cross until it is no longer usable. It’s got many layers of stories on it by now and it’s two sided so I can use it twice before having to recover it.
Some might be offended by this. How could I place images of sin on an image so closely related to Jesus. Well the short answer is, I didn’t, Jesus did! Oh of course I did the actual cutting and gluing, but it was Jesus that took all the sin of the world to the cross. Every one of those people committing every one of those sins and atrocities, was someone Jesus died to save. He who knew no sin became sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. In the presentation, I tell the story of the cross, while doing to my cross all the things that were done to Jesus. By the time I am done, it is a “bloody” nail pierced mess. It is a graphic depiction of what was done to our Lord as He paid the price for you and me. A price we could not pay.
I finish the presentation with Jesus final words on the cross, “It is finished.” It might shock you to know, Jesus did not speak English. He spoke a language called Aramaic and so the word we translate to “It is finished.” is the word “Tetellestai.” It does mean “It is finished.” but it has a secondary meaning. It was a word often used in the ancient market place when a transaction had been completed. The secondary meaning of Tetellestai is “Paid in Full.” That is precisely what Jesus did on the cross and when we place our faith in Him, our debt of sin is paid in full.
What a wondrous thing it is. So many people walk through this word believing that they have little or no value. It’s part of the reason our news is full of stories of sin and desperation. If only we understood the cross and the high price Jesus paid for us there. You and I were worth so much to God that He gave His only Son to set us free. That is an extremely high value and as such we should know we are highly valuable to God, the One who matters most. You are valuable, blessed and highly favored.