On Good Friday, I like to wear a silver cross around my neck that my husband gave me. This cross is special to me because it reminds me of Christ’s crucifixion, and it is a symbol of the faith I have in Christ. When I wear this cross, I think about how the cross has been a source of healing for me.
Many people do not understand the deeper meaning of the cross. Some people think that the cross is a symbol of the Christian faith, while others think it is a symbol of the trauma that Christ suffered. What does the cross really mean? Could it be both of these things? In each case, the cross reminds us of the depth of our sins.
Sin separates us from God and deeply offends Him. Before Jesus went to the cross, he spoke to God through prayer. In his prayer, Jesus said, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus looked into the cup and saw the sins of the whole world. To fulfill the authority of scripture, Jesus took it upon himself to die on the cross to save His believers from these sins. When we sin we fall short of the glory of God. The cross teaches us that we are sinners under the sentence of death. There is a penalty to sin, in other words, “the wages of sin are death.”
The cross shows us our sins that separate us from God, but it also shows us the love that God has for us. Through the cross, God tells us that He loves us, no matter what we have been through in life, no matter what we have done, no matter how bad we have been. We can form a relationship with Jesus Christ, asking Him to forgive our sins and to put us in a right relationship with God. When you make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life you are offered forgiveness and given the assurance of heaven when you die.
Survivors of trauma can use the cross as a reminder to face and live beyond terror. The cross can be a sign of trauma but it is, “a traumatized God faced alongside us.” Originally, the cross, like the ones we wear on necklaces, was a symbol that was created in the wake of early Christian trauma: Jesus’ death by Roman execution. A minister named Walter Tennyson used the cross as a symbol to minister to a Presbyterian community in New York that was traumatized in the wake of 9/11. “His sermon invited his church to see Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans, as the symbol of a traumatized God, a God who was right there with them as they faced and lived beyond their own trauma.” Believers of Christ are not alone when they face unexpected traumas and tragic loss; God is present with them at that moment, right by their side. The cross around our necks reminds us of how near God is to us.
In my reflection, I am reminded that The Lord identifies with me in my loss. Jesus is “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” On Good Friday, I am reminded that Jesus knew where I was the day my son died. He was there right by my side. And just as he chose to go to the cross and suffer, he chooses to be close to me in my own suffering. The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept.” Jesus wept for the sorrow of his friends, Mary and Martha, over the death of their brother Lazarus. The Bible tells us to “weep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15) At my moment of great despair, I believe that God knew where I was and what I was going through and that The Lord wept with me. The best way to display our love and concern for others in times of heartache is to simply be there and not be ashamed to cry with them. This is what Jesus did for me when my son died. Jesus wept.
Some lessons that I take away from this story are to weep with those that weep – to not be ashamed to cry when a family member or a friend loses someone close to them. Some further acts of love I can offer are attending a funeral or being present during times of heartache. As I learn these lessons I am moved to continue to improve my relationship with The Lord. I encourage you to seek God, too. Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins so that you can be in a right relationship with Him. It is my hope that you find meaning in the cross because faith in Jesus Christ can be so healing.
Tags: Good Friday, Weeping, Healing, Cross, Faith
 Romans 3:23
 Romans 6:23
 Isaiah 53:5
 John 11:35