Dr. Eric Frykenberg, veteran missionary to India, was a great storyteller, and he could vividly describe scenes and events from his fifty-plus years in Asia. One day someone asked him, “Dr. Frykenberg, what is the most difficult problem you ever faced?”
Without hesitation, he answered, “It was when my heart would grow cold before God. When that happened, I knew I was too busy. I also knew it was time to get away. So I would take my Bible and go off to the hills alone. I’d open my Bible to Matthew 27, the story of the Crucifixion, and I would wrap my arms around the cross.”
“And then,” Frykenberg said, “I’d be ready to go back to work.” (Leslie B. Flynn, Come Alive With Illustrations (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 173.)
On that day when Jesus died on the cross, it was so very different from all His other days. Gone were the quiet walks along Galilee’s trails. Gone were the commending words of God the Father who said, “This is My beloved Son.” Gone were the flashes of miracles and the commanding tones of His powerful sermons. Gone were the boat trips across the lake and the hikes into Caesarea Philippi. It was a day of pain, of torture, of nails, of blood, of anguish, and of death, and Jesus, despising the shame, endured death, even death on the cross. And on that day, our healing was purchased and paid for. Our sins were forgiven. Our eternal destiny was claimed. Our atonement was accomplished. Our lives were transformed. And we need to revisit the cross on a regular basis, finding there the fountainheads of joy and victory.