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Easter Devotion In the Shadow of the Cross
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Easter Devotion

In The Shadow of the Cross

By Kathy Thomas

How can a good and loving God allow all of this pain and suffering?

I stood silently, alone in the hospital room, watching my baby breathe with my hand carefully placed on his back, hoping to feel his heart still beating. His breathing was frighteningly shallow and his skin was an eerie bluish grey. He had been unconscious for what seemed like an eternity. My clothes were soaked with his blood and waste, and the smell was almost as overwhelming as the pain in my heart.

As the doctors prepared for emergency surgery, they placed him in my arms, and I cradled him close to my chest. He was filthy, but I didn’t care. He was my son. Nothing was going to keep me from holding him tight, as I sang over him in the suffering and waiting.

When the doctors took him from my arms, the reality struck me that I was spattered in his innocent blood. The full weight of Calvary hit me in that moment. It was both crushing and freeing at the same time. I had understood the facts of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, accepted His free gift of salvation, and surrendered my life to His Lordship years before.

But, today I was speechless as I endured the “privilege” that most people will never experience of literally being covered in the innocent blood of my beloved son. There is a depth of the gospel that is incomprehensible until you have experienced such a thing. It seared into my soul how great the Father’s love must be for us, that He would allow His beloved only Son to endure such undeserved suffering, spill His innocent blood to cover our filth and shame, and draw us near to Himself.

There was no person in this world for whom I would have even considered trading my son’s life. He is my Beloved. How great the Father’s love must be for us.

My son survived his brush with death. But, the experience awakened me to the reality that whenever tragedy strikes, we often forget the suffering Jesus endured for our sakes. We get angry when life is painful and forget that nothing we will ever endure could even begin to compare to His suffering on the cross of Calvary. We forget that God lovingly and willingly offered His Son to suffer the punishment for our sins, spill His precious innocent blood, and die in our place… and Jesus lovingly and willingly accepted the task.

We often forget that much of our pain comes from the consequences of our own sinful and rebellious choices, and all of our pain is the result of mankind’s rejection of God. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when God offered mankind a life free of pain and suffering, but mankind wanted a life free of God, instead. Mankind chose to rebel against God, and pain and suffering was the consequence.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NKJV).

But God, in His infinite mercy, had compassion on us and rescued us from our self condemnation:

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:6-9 NKJV).

In the shadow of the cross, it is hard to condemn God for allowing us to suffer. We come to Him covered in our own filth, and He cradles us to His chest, holds us tight, and sings over us in our suffering and waiting. In the light of our salvation, it is even harder for us to comprehend how great the Father’s love for us must truly be.

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Kathy ThomasKathy Thomas is a former model, homeschooling mother of four, and grandmother who enjoys farm life with her family near Ormond Beach, Florida. God constantly uses their personal building, cultivating, and shepherding experiences on their “Funny Farm” to teach them deep, powerful, and yes… sometimes humorous and humbling lessons concerning His kingdom mission. Kathy hopes to encourage others in their journey of faith through sharing hindsight, laughter, and the truth of God's written word.

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