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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Nov
06

Marked By The Cross

Jon Burgess

Scripture
35(“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!
I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;
let my accuser put his indictment in writing.
36Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,
I would put it on like a crown.
37I would give him an account of my every step;
I would present it to him as to a ruler.)— Job 31:35-37
Observation

The parenthesis in Job's plea indicates that he is turning away from his friends and making an oath to the heavens. The language Job is using is straight out of the legal proceedings of his day. Both the charge and the defense would be laid before the court in writing and signed with the tav, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This was often an x but just as often was the sign of the cross. Job had no idea his cry of anguish to the heavens will one day be fulfilled by Jesus. Jesus would come and wear our accusations as a crown of thorns. Where Job had no friends who would stand in His defense Jesus would become our eternal friends in constant defense of us. Jesus would be indicted for our sins and would write our names in His Book of Life. He would sign the document condemning us to sin, death, and hell with His own blood on the Cross. That's right, the sign of the Cross, signaling the legitimacy of the claims before the courts of heaven. Jesus would become for us what Job did not have and so desperately cried out for- a wounded healer. Through His wounds, He would heal our wounds and would call us to heal the wounds of others.

Application

The proof that we have been marked by the Cross is that we don't run from the pain others are experiencing but we run to them and walk it through with them to healing. In fact, it was at the Cross here on the New Hope Christian College campus that God made this point so clear. I was journaling through the reading that day and a woman walked up to the Cross and said, “Are you journaling”? I told her that I was and couldn’t think of a more inspiring place to do so. She said, “I come up here a lot too. Today especially as my mother just died yesterday”. She began to cry and I asked her if I could pray with her. She said I could. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Brenda and that her Mom, Vie, passed away from breast cancer just the night before. She lives nearby the college and came to the Cross to try and find some peace. I told her there’s no better place than being at the foot of the Cross when your world comes crashing down around you. As I prayed I thanked God for coming as the comforter and healer and for walking Brenda through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Then she prayed as well and I could tell that when we were done a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She thanked me and walked back to her car as I walked back to my journal. In that powerful moment, I saw the power of the Cross at work. My privilege is to enter the sufferings of those around me and lead them back to the foot of the Cross where healing and hope are found through Christ. Just as through Christ's wounds on the Cross we are made whole God will often use our wounds to help us walk others to wholeness. In His book, The Wounded Healer,Henry Nouwen states: "Making one's wounds a source of healing, therefore, does not call for a sharing of superficial pains but for a constant willingness to see one's own pain and suffering as rising from the depth of the human condition which all persons share." This is what Job didn't have. Through Jesus, this is what each of us has and can for others. A compassionate companion marked by the cross making our way back to the foot of the cross together.

Prayer

I want to thank You afresh and anew for the Cross of Christ. I want to thank You for the painful places You have met me and walked me through to healing. Let me never take this for granted nor ignore those around who are going through the suffering of their own. I didn't have to walk alone and neither should they. Putting myself in Job's place, I can't imagine my life without You. You are with me and You are for me and I have been marked by Your Cross for eternity.


Devotions for November 06

Job 30
Psalms 120
Galatians 3,4

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