Is there a cross in your life?
Published 7:30 am Sunday, September 10, 2023
Two days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, rescue workers made a remarkable discovery at Ground Zero. Some called it “miracle debris.” They found a 20-foot cross made from two steel beams in the crumbled ruins of the World Trade Center. The cross had landed almost upright when the North Tower imploded.
The man who reportedly found the cross cried for twenty minutes after his discovery and the rescue workers prayed and sang “God Bless America” before returning to work. From that day forward, this cross has touched the lives of many people. News stories told of firefighters and police officers carving the names of fallen co-workers on it as a way of healing their hurt.
One man who worked during the clean-up said, “The cross bears witness that faith is still here. God gave his Son, his only Son to the people of the world. His Son gave His life for our sins. God hasn’t deserted us in this terrible time.”
Ironworkers made a pedestal for the cross. It was moved using a crane and placed on a high walkway over a nearby New York street. A Franciscan priest who prayed a prayer of dedication for the massive steel beams on October 4, 2001 stated that this cross symbolized “the pain and suffering of Jesus on the Cross and the redemption of all humanity.”
Due to reconstruction in the area, the cross was eventually relocated to St. Peter’s Church, which faces the World Trade Center site. A plaque on its pedestal states it will be placed in the WTC Museum, “as a sign of comfort for all.”
Someone once said, “The cross is a way of life; the way of love meeting all hate with love (and) all evil with good.” An English pastor, David Watson, described the Cross of Christ, “as a picture of violence, yet the key to peace, a picture of suffering, yet the key to healing, a picture of death, yet the key to life.”
The 9/11 attacks 22 years ago took the lives of 2,977 innocent victims, not to mention hundreds of others whose lives were taken because of the long-term health effects from cleaning up debris. Over 2,000 years ago, the perfect, sinless Jesus died a brutal death on a Cross so all people for all time can find forgiveness.
Reading about the cross at Ground Zero reminded me of Jesus’ words to anyone who would believe in Him. “Take up your cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
That requires that a person forget about himself or herself and turn from selfish interests, and, with God’s grace, conform completely to the example of Jesus Christ. “Christianity is a cross, and a cross is “I” crossed out,” author and pastor John Bisagno has written.
So, each of us must answer the question, “Is there a cross in my life?” You may think your life is in shambles, but you can still come to the cross and find forgiveness and faith. As one hymn writer put it, “Though millions have come, there’s still room for one. There is room at the cross for you.”
From this day forward, you can know true freedom and forgiveness that only comes from Christ.
— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”