If you’ve ever experienced a season in your life you didn’t know how you were going to make it through, then you know what it’s like to have your soul crushed – your heart broken. If you’ve ever experienced chronic illness, betrayal, divorce, unbearable debt (and the likes), your soul has endured a season of suffering.
Honestly, I hate those seasons. One of the things that has helped me get through them is my faith in Jesus.
Jesus suffered many things – even death on a cross – he teaches those who follow him how to endure suffering as he did. For thousands of years, followers of Jesus have looked to how Christ made it through his seasons of suffering as a model to make it through their own. The pinnacle of Christ’s suffering was the cross. Christian’s believe that not only was he physically tortured, but he was spiritually tortured, as all the world’s sins were placed on him. In that moment, the New Testament says that he was spiritually separated from God, so all of humanity could be reconnected to God.
Often in my darkest seasons of life, all I can do is something I call “hold on to the cross!” I hold on to the memory of what Jesus suffered, knowing that suffering won’t last forever and even if it looks like it’s over, with God, it’s not. No matter how dead I may feel on the inside, I hold on to the fact that there will be a resurrection!
This is one reason the cross has become the symbol of the Jesus followers around the world. Another reason is because of a woman named Helen. If you’re going through a “crushing” season (or know someone who is), you’ll find massive encouragement through her story.
Helen was the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, during the fourth century. It was recorded that Helen went on a quest to find the actual cross Jesus died upon. She scoured the known world until she found it – the cross she believed Jesus was crucified on. It was cracked and splintered.
Once found, Helen wondered what she should do with it. She decided to spread the gospel with it.
Helen took slivers of the decade wood and delivered them to believers and churches around the known world.
With wooden slivers in hand, people from every known country began contemplating the cross. It’s reality filled their thoughts. Touching and viewing part of the actual cross caused people to pray and worship. Eventually, the cross began to stand for something sacred, sacramental and sacrificial.
Up until then, the cross was only defined as a place of extreme agony. But Helen’s work refocused followers of Jesus, not to only regard it as a place of Christ’s CRUSHING, but the place where NEW WINE was produced when He rose from the grave.
Thanks to Helen, not only was the gospel declared across the globe, but the cross emerged as an icon of adoration, instead of solely an artifact of atrocity.
Whether we desire it or not, we all have a cross to bear. Jesus said we must “pick up our cross” if we going to be his disciple. If you follow Jesus, there will be times you must follow him into suffering – betrayal, chronic illness, unbearable debt, divorce, and the list goes on.
You will experience crushing, but remember, crushing is not the end. We go from the VINEYARD to the VAT to the VICTORY!
If you’re experiencing crushing today. Jesus is near. He will faithfully guide you through this “cross.” Remember, it’s not the end! You will not have to endure this forever. Your resurrection is days away!
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