The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity.
However, the cross as it’s seen in houses of worship, grave markers, and worn as pieces of jewelry, may be romanticized and glamorized in a way that detracts from its original meaning and spiritual significance.
In fact, the cross may be used to represent something contrary to the principles and precepts revealed in Scripture.
Today, as Christians assemble in their respective places of worship, there are three powerful symbols that come to mind. Last Sunday, we discussed “The Cup.” Today, consider “The Cross.”
First of all, we need to remember the cross used by the Romans as a cruel means of capital punishment. It was a shameful death. A humiliating death. An excruciating death.
The apostle Paul penned that he preached “the word of the cross,” (1 Cor. 1:17-18) and that and any boasting for his message and ministry, was not based on fleshly credentials or carnal accomplishments, but in “the cross” (Gal. 5:14). Paul’s proclamation of the cross rose above mere symbolism but was rooted in substance we can see.
We see the person of the cross. The glory of the cross was not about a wooden beam, or glittering symbol, but about the One who was nailed to it. Jesus Christ. The Lamb of God. The Son of God. Our Lord. Our Savior. And Redeemer.
The cross reminds us, in the words of blogger, Sarah Coleman, that “Jesus was forsaken that we might be forgiven. He was wounded that we might be healed. He was humiliated that we might be glorified…He was killed that we might live….He was sacrificed that we might be saved.
We see the power of the cross. While the cross in Jesus’ days symbolized weakness, shame, and humiliation, it became the symbol of strength, liberty, and power. The blood of the cross became the divine agent demonstrating God’s power to cleanse sinners.
We see the purpose of the cross. To Paul, as it should be to all of us, the cross was personal. It signifies the breaking down of barriers that separate people. It represents a new creation. It symbolizes our redemption, justification, and salvation from sin.
Today, as we assemble for worship and specially come to communion, let us clearly see the true symbolic significance of the cross. Its person. Its power. And its purpose.
–Ken Weliever, The Preachermman