Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Saturday, March 26, 2016

DJD326 - The Cross

Read More Daily Jesus
Scripture: 

Matthew 27:39-42

Starting Question:

What does the Cross of Jesus mean to you?

The Cross

Symbols are important for identity and community. They tell me who I am and us who we are. Such is a flag and such is the cross. The flag connects us to our nation and the cross joins us to our King — a king who was lifted up on a cross to separate us from death. Thus the cross became the Christian symbol for victory. Death was swallowed up in the cross. The grave has lost its sting because Jesus absorbed sin's penalty upon the cross of Calvary.

So crosses were placed on top of churches — where Christians meet; and at the front of sanctuaries — where Christians kneel. But, due to the symbol being overused and misunderstood — to the point of worshiping the cross instead of the resurrected Saviour — some Christians removed the cross from public display but not from their hearts. The heart-to-heart connection to Jesus due to the victory on the cross is deep within the heart of every Jesus follower.

The symbol of the cross was taken over by armies as they emblazoned it on their shields, swords and helmets.

It became a fighting standard rather than a standard of freedom. Millions died facing the cross on an approaching enemy soldier. Ironically, the entire point of the cross was that only one need die — God for humankind. The cross became a feared symbol, rather than a cherished one.

Today, the cross is again misrepresented as it is laced with diamonds, placed with pearls and worn as jewelery.

The cross is the symbol of Christ's victory, not the prize itself. As many pay a high price for a cross to wear around their neck, they pass by the invitation to shoulder the cross of Christ. “Take up your cross and follow Me,” He says. His is wooden. His is bloodstained.

The symbol of the cross holds no power in and of itself. The cross was a device of torture and death, and was used by ancient governments to kill thousands of people. But Jesus, the God of the universe, willingly died upon a cross so we mortal creatures might be free once again to choose to follow Him. And thus the cross became a symbol of freedom rather than fear.

Jesus turned death on its head, turned fear on its face and turned you and I toward Him. All on a cross.

Christians love, honour and cherish Jesus. He is our Creator and our Re-creator. He created us as His friends and designed this planet as our home.

Then, when sin marred both the planet and the people, He returned to reclaim both. He died on a cross to pay fully the wages of sin — death is no longer our master. And He returned to life to guarantee us life eternal with Him — the way He originally planned.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the foundation of all that Christians believe. Without them, our faith is nothing. 


Reflection Question:
How can we 'wear the cross' in our words and actions?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?