Christos Anesti

--May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…(Galatians 6:14)

--"Jesus, keep me near the Cross...let me live from day to day with it shadow 'oer me." (Traditional hymn)

I've been seeing increasing reports of the theft of metals like steel, aluminum and copper. In a market like ours it's a good way to make some quick money. That's must be what was going through the minds of the thieves who stole a cross from Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas several years back.

They cut the cross off at its base and hauled it away in a truck. Then they cut it into manageable pieces and sold the metal off for scrap. Police later discovered that the thieves probably made a total of $450 on the 900 pounds of metal that they got from the cross.

It's hard to know what the true value of the cross was. But it had been installed in 1930 at a cost of $10,000. These thieves got less than 5% of the original price of the cross. But then, I suppose that's $450 more than what they had spent on it.

I think there are some striking parallels at work here, especially in the value that we place on the cross. How precious is the cross to us? How much value do we place on it? It's often easy for me to undervalue it.

Why? Perhaps because it has become too commonplace. There are crosses everywhere. To put it in economic terms, our market is saturated with crosses, so it becomes hard to appreciate the value of one.

Or maybe it's that I forget the price that was paid at the cross. The thieves were willing to take $450 dollars for their cross, because they hadn't really sacrificed a great deal to get it. It's easy for us to forget that, in order for the cross to be a symbol of hope worthy of boasting, a great price had to be paid. An innocent man was wrongly executed. The Son of God experienced separation from the Father. Had this great price never been paid, the cross would have no more value to us than the guillotine or the electric chair.

This morning, Easter Sunday, we'll remember the value of the cross. Not because of what it was, but because the person who was placed upon it. And because of what God did for him (and for us) through it.

I hope you'll celebrate with me today. Christ has been raised!