Russian president Vladimir Putin has been in the news a lot lately. There is an interesting story about him that ties into the Easter weekend. In Peggy Noona’s book When Character Was King, she writes that in the summer of 2000 Vladimir Putin met with George W. Bush and he shared a very personal story with President Bush.
When Putin was young, his mother gave him a cross to wear around his neck. Although he initially hid it in a jewelry case, he eventually decided to wear it. He even had it blessed while on a trip to Jerusalem. It became a treasured symbol of a mother’s love and her faith.
When the cross turned up missing following a house fire, Putin was greatly disturbed. He dispatched an employee to sift through the charred remains of the building to try and find it. After an exhaustive search, the employee reported to Putin and held out a closed hand. He opened it and revealed the prized cross.
Peggy Noonan records Putin’s remarks as they were reported to her by President Bush. Putin told Bush: “It was as if something meant for me to have the cross.” To which our President said, “Mr. Putin, that’s what it’s all about—that’s the story of the cross.”
The Cross was not some kind of a tragic accident on which Jesus the Son of God hung, but the climax of a deliberate plan God made to rescue mankind. The cross indeed was meant for us, but Jesus stepped in and took our place. As Peter writes “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.”
The Cross was not some kind of a tragic accident on which Jesus the Son of God hung, but the climax of a deliberate plan God made to rescue mankind.
As we celebrate Easter this weekend let’s stop and reflect on God’s amazing love which brought us safely home!