Thursday, March 4, 2010


“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:5,6 KJV

Many years ago when I lived in East Texas, my Sunday school teacher had a Christmas party for us in her home.  We had a wonderful time together.  There was a lot of laughter, playing games and delicious food. 

Then Dr. Bailey, she not only was our Sunday school teacher, she is also a pediatrician, said to us “Ladies, it’s time for our devotions.  Let’s go into the living room”.

She had a huge living room and her husband had taken the door off and there lying on the floor was a big cross.  When we saw the cross, we stopped talking.  Some of us got tears in our eyes as we thought about what that cross represented.

Dr. Bailey gave us paper and pens and told us to write down everything we had done and every thought that we had during our life time that not only was a sin but also hurt Jesus.  I am ashamed to say this but I had to write on the other side of the paper. 

Then she had us do something that to this day still humbles me and brings me weeping and broken hearted to the feet of my precious Saviour.  She gave each one of us a sack of nails and hammer and had all of us kneel on the floor by the cross. 

She had us go one at a time to the cross and nail our papers to the cross just as if we were pounding the nails into the hands of our precious Saviour.  I will never forget that day as long as I live.  My heart was broken that day and I cried.  There are tears in my eyes right now as I am typing this devotion to realize anew that Jesus loves me so much that He suffered all of that agony, horror and excruciating pain on that old rugged cross for me.  He not only endured all of that pain and torture for me; He endured it for you too.  He really does love you.

Pastor Chuck Lawrence of Christ Temple Church in Huntington, WV wrote a beautiful song that never fails to make me cry every time I hear it “He Grew the Tree”.  The words in this song should bring every one of us to the foot of the cross.  The words help us to understand that Jesus didn’t just die on a cross; He died on a cross of love. 

“With tears in His eyes, God looked down through time.  Saw Him spat upon, Rejected and mocked.  Still He grew the tree, That He knew would be, Used to make the old rugged cross.”  What kind of love is this that God would grow a tree that He knew His beloved Son was going to be crucified on?  What kind of love kept Jesus on that cross when He could have come down? 

It was an unselfish, giving and unconditional love that came from Their hearts for you and for me.  The most wonderful thing is that They still love us the same way today.  Their love is unchanging and unending!  We know that They love us.  The question each one of should ask ourselves is “Do I love Them?”  It’s wonderful to know They love us but They also need to know that we love Them.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for growing a tree that became a cross of love.  Thank You, Jesus, for staying on that cross of love for us when You could have come down.  Both of You are wonderful and I love both of You with all of my heart and appreciate all You have done for me.  Amen.

Joanne Lowe
March 4, 2010