[Complete the Cross]
Relationship: the place where we experience both the greatest pain and the greatest pleasure. The place where things really happen. The place where we “do” our lives. The place where we have to live out our faith.
Relationship is a big deal to God. Everywhere in the Bible, things are centered around relationship. We are commanded to love one another, forgive one another, help each other, build each other up, break bread together, work together, speak kindly to each other. We are built for relationship. And this has been the case since the Beginning.
In fact, relationship is so big to Jesus, that he addressed it from the cross. In the midst of His pain and sorrow and suffering and impending death, He took time to address the importance of relationship. In the infamous words He spoke in John 19, we learn the true depth of the importance of relationship.
“He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
He took a moment to intentionally emphasize relationship.To make sure that people were cared for. To set people up to lean on one another. To make it clear that relationship matters.
There is a misconception that Jesus is all we need, but the cross it two-fold.
Yes, He is the ultimate Way. Yes, without Him, we are nothing. But that is only one spoke of the cross. That relationship only goes vertical.
Jesus did not create us to be alone. He created us for relationship. This is where the horizontal spoke of the cross comes into play. We are hard wired to need relationship with others. Even Jesus needed a team.
And He knew we would too. Because when things get real – when people die and when the world is hard and when the storms rage and when we are afraid, we need people on our side. The Enemy is too powerful for us to fight the good fight alone.
When Jesus carried His cross up to that hill, the crowd left. They vanished. His friends and followers were mostly no where to be found. And Jesus knew that this would also happen to us. He knew that our relationship with Him would thin the crowd. And He knew we would need each other.
So, it’s because of relationship that we see the fullness and the goodness of Jesus. It’s because of relationship that we are able to move ahead, even when the road is dark and we are uncertain. It’s because of relationship that we are able to see the fullness and goodness of Jesus. And it’s because of relationship that we are able to complete the cross and live out the life we are called to live.