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Seeds of the Kingdom

A ‘Made-to-Measure’ Cross

by Andrew White

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.
Matthew 8:34, ESV

Every other year, our church has participated in an Easter production in our home town, using drama and song to depict the last days of our Lord’s life, death, and resurrection. Each year more material has been added and cast members have changed. Jesus has been played by four different actors.

For theatrical impact, the cross has to ‘work’. It must look heavy, but be light-weight, for the actor to safely carry through the audience, as if struggling, and when jostled by the soldiers he must be able to remain stable. For the crucifixion, the cross fits into a base, so, when the soldiers ‘nail’ the actor playing Jesus to it, they can lift it to its vertical position with him on it. They kick out stabilisers, and leave the cross free standing. The actor is now standing on a tiny platform, as if he’s hanging in the agony we can only imagine our Lord endured for us.

Each time the person playing Jesus has changed, the cross has been remade. It’s ‘made-to-measure’ for height and width, so each actor looks as if he’s hanging, while he’s standing there in the tormented, emotional sculpture required by the director. The actor needs to remain safe and reasonably comfortable in his position ‘on’ the cross, for quite some time.

This got me thinking about how we can approach our Christian walk. After I came to the Lord, I struggled with a desire for ‘a made-to-measure cross’. I wanted one that was comfortable, flattering to my profile, like a sharp suit, made to measure, cut, fitted and adjusted before being finished, so my uneven shoulders would look the same height, my middle age spread wouldn’t look prominent, and my short stature would somehow be elongated.

A ‘made-to-measure’ cross would be light-weight, well-made, smooth and clean. It would make me look stronger, better, kinder, and more righteous than I am. It wouldn’t be battered, rough and filthy with sin, like the one I received at salvation – in a miraculous answer to prayer.

The cross of Jesus wasn’t ‘made to measure’. It was ‘one size fits all’. All my sin, pride, brokenness, failure, judgement, shame, sickness, and fear fits on it perfectly. And what’s more, all your sin, pride, brokenness, failure, judgement, shame, sickness, and fear fits on it perfectly too. It was, is, and always will be all sufficient, and beyond our ability to measure.

If, like me, you’ve sometimes wanted a ‘made-to-measure cross’, forget it! You can’t make one. We don’t need one anyway, because the ‘one size fits all’ cross God used was enough. In His strength we can endure, surrender, find healing, grow, learn, be washed clean by His blood and clothed in His righteousness.

Prayer: Lord forgive me for when I’ve wanted to take up a cross of my own making, so I might look good, instead of being made good, hide my faults instead of letting You deal with them, and cope with life instead of letting You heal me. Help me, Lord, to see all You’ve done for me, and surrender my everything into Your hands. May Your will be done in my life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Andrew White Having first come to Ellel Grange in 2009 seeking deep personal healing for the roots of health issues that had ended his secular career, Andrew attended the Modular school of Healing and Discipleship. He is now on the Associate Ministry and Teaching Teams at Ellel Grange. He enjoys using creativity to help people gain freedom and healing and to deepen their relationship with God.


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