A death on a cross was meant to be painful, no... excruciating, slow agony. Straining to push up against a small block, the feet were positioned and secured with a spike, one on top of the other. Rising from the core, back and shoulders lifting up the body against the weight of one's self, only a few sustaining breaths entered, a gasp allowed for a few more minutes of pain and to contemplate rising again to inhale. Suffocation ended the struggle. In Christ's death, the groaning pains of mankind's choices away from God, hung with Him, yet many of us still feel strangled.
Christ endured this for every man, woman and child that God ever allowed to walk this Earth because of His great love for you and me. He took our punishment for us, and then in His Deity, rose up for Eternity, conquering all that excruciates and agonizes us; that keeps us apart from the Father.
Suffering exists in the "letting go." Stretching up, we continue to hold on and take those breathes of self-control. Puffed-up, prideful inhales, exhausting exhales of defeat. The final heave to take that last breath, to try and claim our own life, ends with the realization that we cannot deliver enough of our own good intentions into our lungs for salvation.
Only one cross exists where the burdens of each and every heart is pierced by the nails of love and covered by the blood of Grace. Only until we lower our head, humble ourselves and fall to our knees, surrendering our own breath of self to the Cross; then His victory comes into our life.
There, on that lonely cross of hope, eternal life is given, eternity that begins in our life while still here in the flesh. Our own wheezing, gasping for purpose, now opens us up for restful joy.
Stop fighting, stop running only to pant furiously for your breath. When Christ's breath of his Spirit fills your life in every cell, His Transformation brings you to a new Respiration, a Resuscitation for your soul!
Father God, you breathed into Adam the breath of fellowship with a Holy God. Our own free will takes us out of the garden and into a vacuum empty of Your Spirit, a void only You can refill. But You made a way, You came to our rescue! The Mighty Redeemer, your Son, takes my burdens, empowers me to keep moving way past the place where my own breath eludes. Praise your Holy Name. Amen.