For those who live in my community of Forest City, you probably know by now that there was an interesting “coincidence” that happened recently. A man was sitting in the parking lot on Main Street waiting for the grocery store to open, and next door, on the building owned by Frugal Living a cross appeared.
Now for those who did not see this, I want to explain what I mean by “appeared.” There was a reflection cast from somewhere that shined on the building and made a perfect glowing cross. The image looked like the cross was sitting on a grassy knoll. What made this more interesting was that it happened on Easter weekend. The post from the man who shared it was shared hundreds of times, and seen by thousands throughout our community and region.
The first question you may ask is, “Did God put it there or is this just a coincidence?” As a Christian, I do not believe in coincidences, but sovereignty. Sovereignty by dictionary definition means “supreme power or authority.” For Christians, who believe in God’s sovereignty, God is in control of everything. I would say that this was no accident.
Think of the many things that had to happen to make this possible: the building being in that exact position; the other building where the reflection came from needing to be in a certain spot (both buildings most likely built over 100 years ago); the sun being in the specific spot of the sky; even the man who “happened” to be sitting in the grocery store parking lot at that exact time. It had to be sunny, not cloudy that day (which is a phenomenon in and of itself in northeastern Pennsylvania this time of year). We could go down a rabbit hole, but the things which needed to happen to make that “phenomena” happen are almost endless.
A second question that we must ask is, “If God put it there, what is He trying to say to us?” I read some of the hundreds of comments about this. There are dozens of theories. I think to answer the question, let’s go back to the meaning of the cross, what that image represents. The cross is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
What is the specific sacrifice? The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was to pay for the sins of man. Scripture teaches us that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). It tells us that Heaven is a perfect place where there can be no sin (Revelation 21:27). In order for us to go to Heaven to spend eternity with God, we must be cleansed of our sin because sin is not allowed in Heaven.
God allowed Jesus to pay the penalty of sin for us. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus could pay that penalty because He was perfect. God would only accept a perfect sacrifice, and only Jesus could be that sacrifice. He could be perfect because He was God, even as He became fully man on this Earth.
Who can benefit from this sacrifice? Everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to pay for their sins, and turns from their sin. Scripture says that we must believe in our hearts and minds that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross because we couldn’t pay for them ourselves (Romans 10:9-10). God not only in fact saves us, but starts changing our lives on Earth!
The third question you may be asking is, “If the message of the cross on the building Easter morning was there, who may God be trying to send a message to?” I think it can be for believers of Jesus and those who do not believe. It can be a reminder to believers of the great sacrifice Jesus made for us.
It also can be a reminder to those who don’t know the message of the cross, or have not put their faith in Jesus’ sacrificial work for salvation. My guess is that Jesus was trying to encourage or call everyone who saw it. I believe He was trying to point us all to the cross.
The last question to ask is, “If I saw the cross, and I believe God is trying to send me a message, what should my response be?” For the Christian, the response should be joy. Joy that we have been forgiven. Joy that we have received a Savior who paid for our sins. We should want to worship God for His great love for us.
For those who are not Christians yet, the response should be to turn your mind and heart to Him and confess your sin and need for a Savior. Call out to Him for salvation.
The next response is to start the practice of worshiping Him. Find a church that does that. Why do Christians do this regularly and weekly? Someone who would consciously and voluntarily die for you so that you don’t have to spend eternity in Hell, but can spend it in Heaven with God deserves your time, worship and praise. He doesn’t just want your attention for a minute, but a lifetime.
I hope you will take time to reflect on what the cross means, and what it can mean to you if you accept it. God is so good to put so many things in our lives to remind us of who He is and how great He is.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.