The scandal of the Cross

Red rose

“His love is scandalous,
It’s completely ridiculous,
That He would do all this for us,
But that’s just how it is.” (Lyrics for Touch His Hem, by Heather Djunga).

The story of Jesus’ love for His Bride is scandalous but then aren’t all love stories?
That He, Creator of Heaven and earth, would step into His own creation to become the sacrificial lamb defies logic. The message of the cross offends. Paul speaks of this as the ‘offence of the cross’ (Gal 5:11).
The true gospel message is often received with extreme reactions but it should not be watered down because there at the cross is the ‘summit’ of God’s love for His people.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18)

Have you ever seen two people in love? They speak their own little language. They offend others with their zealousness for each other. All they talk about is each other. No one else gets it. But they get it and that’s what counts.
How does the blood of Jesus fit into this?
It is like the red rose that the nightingale gave to her beloved, after singing through the night for him in the story of the Nightingale and the Rose. It cost her everything. There were only white roses in the garden but the one the nightingale loved wanted a red rose. She loved him so much, she would give him nothing other than the best.
So she put her heart to a thorn and sang through the night until her very blood penetrated the white petals to produce a perfect red rose.

So the story goes that the next morning, he found the red rose on the rose bush, not noticing her lying there beneath it, in its shade. He took the rose, delighted he had been able to find a red one in the garden.
But as is human nature, this treasure soon lost its lustre for him, and the story ends with him throwing the red rose in the gutter.

The blood is His everything for you. Will you receive it or will you throw it away, without ever seeing the heart of the one who gave it all to give you a perfect red rose?

This fierce love between the King and His Bride is depicted in the Hebrew book of Song of Solomon: “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” (Song of Solomon 8:6).

His Word says to sing a ‘new song’. But in His Story, He also tells Israel to remember the journey she has made with Him. In His Word, there is also a place for the old songs – the ones that were played in those tender, beautiful moments when a love relationship with Him first dawned.

And so as I find myself remembering the journey I have made with Him and as the Lord brings healing to my heart, I remember some songs that touched my heart and moved my heart for Jesus when I first believed. Some of them weren’t necessarily Christian songs, but they reminded me of my relationship with Him.

One of these, Dan Seals’ song One Friend:

“I always thought you were the best
I guess I always will
I always thought that we were blessed
And I feel that way still
Sometimes we took the hard road
But we always saw it through

If I had only one friend left
I’d want it to be you

Sometimes the world was on our side
Sometimes it wasn’t fair
Sometimes it gave a helping hand
Sometimes we didn’t care

‘Cause when we were together
It made the dream come true

If I had only one friend left
I’d want it to be you

Someone who understands me
And knows me inside out
Helps keep me together
And believes without a doubt
That I could move a mountain
Someone to tell it to

If I had only one friend left
I’d want it to be you.”

For me, moving forward means remembering my heart. He is there at the centre of my heart – unchanged by the storms that have swept through my life.

I listen to the words.

“Someone who understand me,… and believes without a doubt, that I could move a mountain, someone to tell it to.”

I might’ve stopped listening for a while but I am listening now Jesus and I do believe you can move mountains.

And you, reader? Will you accept His red rose?

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

Author: Heather Djunga

You would die for Him but will you live for Him? What would happen if one person - you - committed to live out loud for Him? ©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.The creative concepts, drawings and writing on this site cannot be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author and artist

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