In recent days, I have been reading L. Frank Baum’s classic work, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” to my younger children. They have enjoyed it and have noticed some of the differences between it and the movie (of which they are quite familiar). One of those differences has to do with the Emerald City. Before the Guardian of the Gate allows anyone into the city, he requires (under orders from the Oz, himself) that they wear green-colored spectacles. In fact, the Guardian of the Gate even locks them onto everyone to insure that they won’t be removed. He only has the key that will unlock them. The Guardian says that the brightness and glory of the Emerald City would blind those without the glasses. While this may have been true, another fact of these glasses is that they make everything in the city look green. The candy and popcorn and shoes and hats and clothes (and even the lemonade) are all green!
The resurrection of Jesus Christ does the same thing to our view of the cross. That which is horrible looks lovely because of the resurrection. The cross was a despised instrument of torture for criminals. Apart from the resurrection, the death of our Lord should lead us to despair. However, seen in light of the resurrection, the cross gives us great hope. The events that ought to be tragic are transformed by the resurrection into our great joy! It’s no wonder that the preaching of the cross is a stumbling block to those who don’t believe in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 1:23). When you don’t have the resurrection, you will stumble in the dark. But, resurrection glasses transform the instrument of death into an object of great joy for us!