I have a beautiful cross that I never take off. It is my constant reminder of everything Jesus has done in my life.
It is also a slap in the devil’s face.
Think about it. The cross was the most ghastly, abhorrent, abominable thing imaginable. If you were hung on a cross, you were a despicable human being worthy of the greatest contempt.
Cross = BAD
Now we see the cross as a beautiful thing. Even many who don’t believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ often wear it as decoration because it is beautiful. Imagine what a headache that constant reminder must give the devil.
But this is exactly what Jesus does. While He lived, He specialized in making bad things beautiful. Whether He was healing lepers, delivering a woman from being stoned, returning dead children to their parents…
And He does the same today. It makes no difference to Him that you’ve been bad. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He cares about you letting Him do what only He can do – turning your life from bad to beautiful.
“The veil.” It wasn’t a simple thing like the sheer piece of fabric worn by a bride. This 60’ high, 4” thick curtain was massive, heavy, and effective. It separated man from God and God from man in a visible way just as completely as sin separated them spiritually. Yet it was torn, split down the middle when Jesus completed His work on the cross.
Only God could have torn it, and He did. In that action, He returned to us the right to enter into His presence. He began the process of drawing us ever closer to Him. It’s what He wants, what He wanted in the garden.
And then what happened? Man started trying to repair that veil. Think about how much work would have gone into repairing a FOUR INCH THICK piece of fabric.
But man is still trying to “repair” that veil today, drawing together threads made of rules, regulations, traditions, and even fears designed to separate man from God just as surely as the Temple veil separated them that morning before Jesus shouted, “It is finished!”
“Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Judg 6:26b [AMP]
In a recent study of this passage, it struck me. Why? There would have been plenty of wood around: Gideon didn’t need the Asherah pole for kindling. It almost seems wrong to use something at which many have worshiped to burn a holy sacrifice, yet this is the very wood God chose. So I asked Him why…and He took me to The Cross.
“Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse [doom] of the Law [and its condemnation] by [himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);” Gal 3:13 [AMP]
The devil was very pleased with himself on Crucifixion Day. Here he had the ultimate weapon, a curse-bearing cross, and he used it to put Jesus on display as a sign and symbol of God’s ultimate defeat – or so he supposed. The cross he put so much stock in proved, rather, to be a tool in God’s hands, an eternal symbol of God’s ultimate victory.
God not only permitted His Holiest Sacrifice to be laid on this foul cross; He required it.
So now it makes sense. If you consider Gideon’s Asherah pole as a type and shadow of The Cross, it reveals that God can turn even the devil’s most prized weapons into tools to serve His purposes. The devil never outranks God and, no matter how hard he works to pervert things, The Almighty can redeem them all, turn them, and make them serve the purposes for which He originally created them.