Vanessa Williams' The Cross
Author Vanessa T Williams
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Tanya was sitting at a red light not far from her neighborhood when she got the call. She screamed out in agony as she sped through the intersection barely being missed by delivery truck that was making a right turn onto the road. Horns where blaring and at that moment she who had always been cautious in everything she did, suddenly had no regard for any other living person- not even herself. She had to get home.
The sun shined in through the windshield and almost made it impossible for her to believe the news she just had received. The tears running down her face felt heavy as they flowed like a slow running faucet over her cheeks bones. Her hands shook and her legs felt as light as feathers and she pressed hard on the gas and stumped on the brakes.
She sped through every intersection and red light- stopping other drivers in their tracks. The angry drivers continued to honk their horns and shout profanities out of their windows. She wasn’t signaling to make any turns and at times the car seemed on two wheels as she rounded corners and accelerated in mid turn.
She turned on to her street and pressed the gas hard. The long narrow street was lined with oaks said to have been planted in the late 1800’s. They stood tall and the shadows they cast over the street made her heart heavier- it was as if she was noticing them for the first time.
She turned into her driveway hard; for a moment the scene seemed as normal as any day. Then suddenly her husband Rick came out the front door and collapsed on his knees, his mother right behind attempting to console him. Tanya quickly got out her car and ran passed them both, through the front door and up the stairs.
She topped the stairs and looked up the hallway. The second door on the right was open and the same sunlight poured out of the room and spread across the hall. She walked slowly to the door, her heart beating fast and her tears flowing more than earlier. She began to sob out aloud and hold the wall for balance.
She stepped in front of the door and looked into the bright room there in the middle of it, her only son Markus had hung himself from the ceiling fan.
A week after Markus’ funeral Tanya received a phone call from one of her friends. She had known Carrie for 26 years and could not imagine life without her. Carrie wanted to come over and talk to her concerning an organization that aided in the prevention of teen suicide. Tanya was all for this and desired to make sure no mother would ever have to feel what she herself had just experienced.
Tanya and her husband sat on the couch and listened to Carrie’s idea. It seemed that Carrie had done all the work and had even given the foundation Markus’ name. This moved Tanya and she felt confident that her son’s death was not in vain. Carrie’s voice began to fade as a bombardment of all the warning signs and cries for help flashed through her mind. She had to help people, she knew it.
Carrie was excited and began to read of the contributors’ names. She reached down into the black bad she was carrying and produced a large folder. She announced to Tanya and Rick that she had a logo and mission statement and that she had already registered the organization. A smile spread across their faces.
As quickly as the smile came they left. Tanya felt the tears welling up in her eyes. Rick’s face contorted into a grimace and his anger was fierce as he sat rigid on the couch. Tanya stood quickly and glaring at Carrie not believing that she would ever think to do such a thing. Carrie was confused and looked back and forth at Tanya and Rick trying to understand the change of atmosphere.
Rick stood and told Carrie to get all of her stuff and to get out of his house. She stood too and attempted to reach out to touch Tanya and Tanya jerked away from her stepping quickly to her left. Carrie was befuddled as the anger grew more intense from Tanya and Rick. She sat back down and quickly began gathering her things. She looked up at Rick and said, I don't know is wrong please let us talk about this."
Rick walked over to the door and swung it open violently- it hit the wall and a picture of Markus in his high school football uniform fell to the floor breaking the frame. Rick's anger had reached its apex. He walked fast towards Carrie and grabbed her arm dragging her to the front door. Carrie cried out, and found herself out the door on the ground.
In a flurry of white light all of her paperwork rained down on her as she heard the door slam behind her. There on the ground she wept in total confusion of what had just occurred. Tanya stood in the living-room still and Rick cried as he leaned against the front door; staring down at the picture that sent them into a rage. Somehow in the chaos it slipped out of his hand. The picture lay next to the front and its image drove thorns through his heart. It was an image of a golden noose on a white background with the words “The Markus Foundation” across it at the center.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments”
The Second Commandment
Imagine losing someone dear to you. Now imagine the device or cause of their death being glorified. This is in effect the same as wearing the cross that symbolizes how our Lord died for us. Through-out history since the death of Jesus, the cross has been used to symbolize either his death or the presence of religion. Since most religions use the cross in some form or fashion, then logically how would the cross represent a single event in time such as the crucifixion of him alone?
Important questions to ask one’s self; first which religions use a form of the cross as the foundation or representation of their religious belief? Secondly, who is the god of these religions and does their god claim to have been crucified? Last, is it Jesus’ death that we should rejoice in or his resurrection?
Why a Cross?
Why is it that people do not wear or adorn themselves with stones or an image of The Garden Tomb? It is because Jesus died so that he may conquer death; when he passed away from this earthly realm he conquered both death and hell.
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Satan’s victory was the cross because it is the only advantage that he has ever had over Jesus. As previously stated he lost those bragging rights too because the cross did not defeat our Lord. It amazes me that the world gets offended when their favorite celebrities are shown in their final states of rest. When Whitney Houston was displayed in a coffin her fans were bitter. Why is it that the Catholic Church still can carry dictations of Jesus on a cross and no one even Christians seem to care at all?
“Crucifixion probably started first with the Persians (what is modern day Iran). Initially, the victim was suspended to keep their feet from touching holy ground. The Phoenicians, traders to many lands, seem to have also acquired the practice and probably spread it to other cultures, including the Greeks.
Alexander the Great (a Greek) introduced the practice to Carthage, where it was picked up by the Romans. The Romans started using it around the time Jesus was born.
The Romans perfected crucifixion as a punishment designed to maximize pain and suffering. It wasn’t about killing somebody — it was about killing somebody in a really horrible way. Someone who was crucified suffered the maximum amount of pain.
Crucifixion was also the most disgraceful form of execution. It was usually reserved for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and vile criminals. The only time a Roman citizen was ever crucified was for desertion from the army”
–George Ridley, Catholic Education Center
It is important for Christians to know that crucifixion was not invented for Jesus. The cross and crucifixion was used before Jesus’ time. It was because the crucifixion methods were so harsh and brutal that they were chosen to carry out the death of our Lord. It is equivalent to the earlier practices of an electric chair.
The cross for me, represents the alter, in which Jesus bled on for the sanctification of us the people. It is where his blood was spilled because he was made a sacrifice. The prophesy had to be fulfilled in both regards also. Had he not rose from the dead then, the prophesy would have no effect.
The image of the cross is Satan’s way to infiltrate the church across the board. No matter the good intention of the church or its willingness to follow Christ, he has hidden a Trojan horse in plain sight that marks the church with the remembering of his victory at the cross but not of his defeat at the grave. We won. How would you like it if a sports caster only reported the half-time results and not the final.
So then if the cross was used prior to the death of Christ and crucifixion was a method of death prior to the death of Christ why is the cross now depicted as representation of him? When I see a gun I do not think of Biggie or Tupac? When I see a car I do not think of Marilyn Monroe. This is because the methods of their death were existent before they died and it was created because of them.
I pass churches ever day. Christian churches, Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, and so on. I am amazed that although their practices are diverse the fact remains that they all claim the cross.
This is unnerving for me. The scriptures teach that He is coming back for a perfect church without spot or wrinkle. I used wonder what that meant. As I have grown more both spiritually and mentally, I am slowly beginning to understand what that means. The little spots and wrinkles refers to the little things that makes make us imperfect for Christ. As I have stated in my previous articles, the Devil uses subtly to confuse, and divide the people of God.
Christians must understand that no matter how small or improbable, the devil will use anything he can to draw us across that line. Why must we embrace the cross? It was already carried for us. It had no effect on our Lord- it carried no sting. The cross was merely an avenue by which He had to travel to fulfill prophesy.
Today we idolize the cross. Alters and buildings are adorned with them. Entertainers and artist mimic it and sometimes portray themselves on it. Images of it is tattooed on people and most non-profit organizations use it. It has become a form of propaganda. Televisions ads use this image to play on our emotions and our connections to spirituality.
The little things that make us imperfect for Christ will become our cross.