The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminiscent of the salvation of humanity

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The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminiscent of the salvation of humanity

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated every year on September 14, recalls three historical events, namely the finding of the true Cross by Saint Helena--the mother of Emperor Constantine; the dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulcher and Mount Calvary; and the restoration of the true Cross to Jerusalem by the emperor Heraclius II.

The feast also celebrates the Holy Cross in its capacity as the instrument of the salvation of humanity. It is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work, namely the salvific death of Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened. It mainly reflects the "the salvific power of the Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace."

THE IDENTITY OF THR CROSS WAS CONFIRMED
The Roman Emperor Constantine's mother, St. Helena, a convert to Christianity, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to locate where the important events in the life of Jesus Christ occurred and to preserve the relics of the Christian faith that remained there. One of her goals was to find the place of Lord Jesus' crucifixion and the very Cross on which he was hung.
According to the historian Rufinus, the identity of the true Cross was confirmed by a miraculous healing after St. Macarius recited this prayer:

"O Lord, who by the Passion of Thine only Son on the cross, didst deign to restore salvation to mankind, and who even now hast inspired thy handmaid Helena to seek for the blessed wood to which the author of our salvation was nailed, show clearly which it was, among the three crosses, that was raised for Thy glory. Distinguish it from those which only served for a common execution. Let this woman who is now expiring return from death's door as soon as she is touched by the wood of salvation."

THE CROSS IS THE SALVATION OF HUMANITY
The Holy Cross symbolizes the salvation of humanity through the death of Lord Jesus who bore the sins of all those who believe in Him. Jesus rose from the dead and brought victory to humanity as He reversed the rule of nature and victoriously beat death.

Furthermore, the Cross contains in itself the mystery of salvation, because, in the Cross, love is lifted up. This is the lifting up of Love to the supreme point in the history of the world. In the Cross love is lifted up and the Cross is at the same time lifted up through love. And from the height of the Cross, love comes down to us. Yes: "The Cross is the most profound condescension of God to man. The Cross is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful wounds of man’s existence."

The Cross symbolizes death and life, hate and love, violence and peace, accusation and forgiveness, sin and purity, brokenness and wholeness, all is lost yet everything is gained, destruction and restoration, defeat and victory. Once the cruelest form of execution, yet now it is a symbol of abundant life.

Lord Jesus Christ died for sinners. He died for people who had lost their way. He did not die because it was forced upon him. It was a choice. A choice made in love.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
Furthermore, on the Cross, God reached down to us personally.

Te Holy Bible says, "I want to know Christ... I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death.'' (Philippians 3:10).

On the Cross, Jesus humbled Himself in obedience and died a criminal death on the Cross. Lord Jesus died for humanity as a human. He willed his flesh, mind, and emotions to die on the Cross.

And by that will (that is the will of Jesus as a human being, not the will of God), we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).

Let us exalt the Holy Cross and thank Lord Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made on the Cross that gave eternal life to all those who believe in Him.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

Sun, 09/13/2020 - 23:16
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