Posted by: cindybythesea | February 10, 2019

A Message on the Beach

“For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Cross

On Saturday February 2 a gigantic wooden cross washed a shore on a Ft. Lauderdale beach just outside a resort hotel. At 20 feet in size (and covered with barnacles) it made quite an impression on those who found it. It was not immediately known where it came from leading many to guess at it origins. Some thought it may have come up from South America where it had been washed in to the sea by a mighty storm while others thought perhaps it was the last vestiges of a ship somewhere that had previously met its doom. But all guessing aside, the mystery was soon solved when a woman by the name of Robin Stowe stepped forward to identify it.

According to Stowe the cross is most likely one erected in memory of her late brother Captain Richard Baran who disappeared on a solo hunting trip in the Hatteras Inlet off the North Carolina coast in 2016.  Constructed by a man named, Aaron Aaron – (and yes, his first name is the same as his last) the cross was placed by friends at the site of his last known camp in honor of his memory. Mr. Aaron was able to identify the cross in Florida as the one he had constructed for Mr. Baran by a series of distinctive marks made in the course of its construction. Stowe also thinks that the cross was most likely set adrift from the place it had been set when Hurricane Nate hit the North Carolina coast in October 2017  ….. finally coming to a rest 16 months later on a Florida beach where it was found.

It’s interesting the stir this cross created. Not only did crowds gather to see it but multiple news agencies carried the story across the nation and around the world. Some saw the cross as a divine sign of sorts; something spiritual for sure. Others saw it as a simple oddity of the kind that washes up on beaches across the world on any given day and nothing more. Others just gazed at in wonder not sure what to think.

I confess, I myself found the photos to be riveting; compelling.  This immense cross rolling up like some kind of lost treasure in the pounding surf. There was just something about it. And because I don’t believe in coincidence when it comes to the things of God I began to look at the story for clues that this might be a divine appointment of some kind and I have to tell you, I was not disappointed.

A Message in Names and Numbers

Sometimes there is something to be learned by looking at the finer details of an event and I have to tell you this one was replete with interesting details. So much so that in my humble opinion there was a definite reason for this particular cross to wash up on shore on this particular date. Let me go over some of the details.

1- The cross came to rest on a Florida beach 11 days after New York celebrated the right to kill babies up until the moment of birth by lighting the spire on top of the World Trade Center Tower pink. The number 11 in the Bible is significant as it is representative of the irresponsibility of law breaking, (God’s law)  disorder and judgment.

2- The search for Captain Richard Baran covered 33 miles over a period of 8 hours. Both numbers Biblically significant.

3- The name Baran according to Wikipedia means “Ram“. The name Richard means “ruler, King, powerful, strong”.

4- The cross was apparently dislodged from its place by Hurricane Nate. Nate is a derivative of the name Nathan which brings to mind the Prophet Nathan. It was Nathan in the book of 2 Samuel who reprimanded King David for his adultery with Bathsheba and the death of her husband Uriah.

5- Also of interest, the Cape off the East Coast of North Carolina (Hatteras) has long been known as the graveyard of the Atlantic for its danger to shipping.

6- The cross was afloat from October 2017 to February 2019 – a period of 16 months.

7- And last but not least, the name of the man who constructed the cross Mr. Aaron Aaron. Very interesting because it is a double name of the same …. and anything repeated is done for emphasis.  Aaron in the Bible was the older brother of Moses and the first high priest whose name means “lofty, exalted, high mountain”.

So what does this all mean? If anything? I can’t say exactly but I think the word associations are indicative that there is more to the story than just a barnacle encrusted cross washing up on a shore to the amusement and curiosity of local beachgoers.

So, perhaps it could be said like this.

Our nation which was once considered to be a Christian nation has lost sight of the cross. (Symbolized by the cross set adrift from where it once stood firm).

We are (for a number of reasons) due for judgment and headed for the graveyard as far as nations are concerned.

Hurricane Nate (Nathan) reprimands us for our adulterous ways as the cross is temporarily removed from the sight of a nation gone blind. A nation who ….

…. prefers the sacrifice of ones own children to the sacrifice of God (his own son) as symbolized by the sacrificial animal, the ram.

The cross constructed by Aaron Aaron (as in high priest) returns to shore after a period of approximately 16 months. (Sixteen is known as the number of love biblically speaking primarily so for the 16 characteristics of love listed in the great love chapter of the Bible 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). The cross of Jesus, our high Priest returning to the shores of our beloved country after 16 months for one reason and one reason only ….. love.

Providing this message to us …. a message on the beach …

In spite of our sin, in spite of our rejection, in spite of our rebellion. The cross of Jesus continues to reach out to us in love.

Which does not mean that we are not still headed for judgment. But rather that the cross of Christ is still available for those who would repent of their sin and come to faith in Christ. There is still time. But, not much.

And perhaps that is the real story of the cross that washed up on a beach that lazy afternoon of February 2.  Not a message in a bottle but rather a message from the Master himself. I don’t know about you but I’d kind of like to think so.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy




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