Marked by the Cross
“When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins…that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)
Anyone who has ever had their ear (or some other body part) pierced or got a tattoo understands that these events leave a permanent mark on one’s body. Sure you can take the earring out, but the mark remains. Tattoos are hard to cover up. Their design remains imprinted in your skin for the rest of your life.
The power of the cross has a similar effect on us as piercings and tattoos. The love of God, shed through Jesus Christ on the cross, the Apostle Paul writes, “forgave us all our sins.” “He took it away nailing it to the cross.”
This forgiveness of your sin and mine was not a temporary thing. It is a permanent thing. Christ’s death marks you and me for life! Nothing can take that love away once we put our faith in Jesus. Nothing!
Today is Ash Wednesday. Today begins the 40 day season of Lent that reminds of God’s love for us in the power of the cross. In churches all over the world, pastors will mark Christians on their foreheads with the mark of an ash stain cross. True, it is a temporary mark, but it signifies a mark that Jesus has left on our lives that is lasting. When Jesus died, he took our sins, that lead to death, with him so that we might have life. “Because I live, you also will live.” Jesus promises in John 14:19. This is no hollow promise. This is an eternal promise. It pierces us real deep, deeper than anything else. This is real love. This is the love of our God for you and me.
If you receive ashes today in an Ash Wednesday service somewhere, wear them proudly for all the world to see. Let your friends and neighbors know how the cross of Christ has marked you forever. If you can’t attend such a service, burn some cardboard, some dry leaves, anything, and make ashes for yourself so that you can smear the ash stain cross on yourself.
Take a stand today. Show off your living faith. Show off your Savior. Let his love mark you for the world to see. Amen.