DayBreaks for 11/22/13 – The Miracle of the Cross
There’s a true story that illustrates the power of the cross: the Archbishop of Paris once stood in the pulpit of Notre Dame Cathedral. He was there to preach a sermon, a sermon built around a story. Thirty years earlier, he said, three young tourists who had come into that very cathedral. All three young men were rough, rude, cynical, thinking all religion was nothing more or less than a racket. Two dared the third young man to go into the confessional box and give a made-up confession. The two bet him that he didn’t have the nerve to do as they dared.
The third young man did go into the confessional and tried to fool the priest. But somehow, the priest knew that what the young man was saying was a lie. There was a tone of arrogance in the young man’s voice that the priest noticed. After hearing the confession, the priest told the young man his penance. The priest said, “Very well, my son. Every confession requires a penance, and this is yours. I ask you to go into the chapel, stand before the crucifix, look into the face of the crucified Christ and say, ‘All this you did for me, and I don’t give a damn!’
The young man staggered out of the confessional to his friends, bragging that he had done as they dared. The other young men insisted he finish the performance by doing the penance, so the third man made his way back into the chapel, stood before the crucifix, looked up into the face of Christ and began, “All this you did for me and I … I … I don’t … I don’t give a ….” At this point in the story, the archbishop leaned over the pulpit and said, “That young man was this man who stands before you to preach.”
That’s the miracle of the cross. It changes things. It changes us. No honest person can look into the face of Christ on the cross and come away unchanged. Once we begin to understand the love that brought the cross to take place, we want to change our relationship with God. We cannot remain the same, anymore. How much difference is the cross making in your life?
PRAYER: For the pain, for the shame, for the anguish and for the death on the cross we thank You, Lord Jesus! Thank you for making a change in this world – and in all who come to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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