This morning, over 50 churches in Winnipeg closed their doors for one Sunday so that we could all worship Jesus together in one place, at Winnipeg's MTS Centre. It was estimated that 12,800 people were in attendance! And at the center of it all, hanging high above the chairs that filled the floor area was a huge 24-foot cross.
As the worship began, there was so much to capture my attention. The thousands of voices singing passionately to Jesus was such an inspiring expression of devotion and unity. But as I sang from my chair and casually turned to look up at the cross hanging high above the crowd, I had an unexpected emotional response that brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly felt as though I was at Golgotha, the hill on which Jesus died, looking up at the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
There was a crowd around the cross at that time too. They too had to look up to see the cross as it was placed high atop a hill. Some in that crowd were looking up in confusion, and others with compassion, while others in mocking derision. But Jesus willingly gave Himself to hang high above them all, humiliated before them and yet eager to save them. And for a brief moment, I felt as though I was there amongst the onlookers, staring up at the cross of Jesus, wondering at the magnitude of it all, and tears rose up in my eyes. I couldn't help but think, He put Himself on that cross for me. What a scene that must have been.
Today, on January 9, 2011, the crowd around the cross I saw was of a different sort. We were united in our response of praise and gratitude to Jesus who died to save us. For today was no crucifixion scene. Today was a celebration of the exaltation of the One who hung there on a cross so long ago, and who has now been exalted to the throne above every throne!
But for a brief moment, I saw Him there, high up on a cross. And His love for me seemed as clear to me as it has ever been.
© 2011 by Ken Peters