Is the Christian Cross more than a symbol of Christianity?
The Christian Cross
There is no denying that the cross is one of the most ancient of human symbols. Because of its simplicity, we see it throughout history and cultures from cave writings to Egyptian hieroglyphs; even the letter “Tau” in the Greek alphabet. The cross takes on many styles, but it is definitely not a stranger to humanity. But then came Jesus Christ who changed the meaning of the Christian cross, what it represents. The symbol is seen as the instrument used to torture and kill the Son of the living God and fulfill the prophecies, gifting salvation to mankind through Jesus’s death and resurrection. Now is known around the world as the Christian Cross.
The cross is only a symbol of the Christian faith but not a focus of worship. That focus is only deserving of the man who died upon it and conquered death. But even as a symbol, it represents everything that Christ taught us. It is a constant reminder of his ultimate sacrifice to save the children of God. We are not worthy of such a sacrifice, but Jesus lived a sinless life, taught mankind how to have a close relationship with the Creator and sacrificed himself because he loves us.
Dying on the cross is not an easy death. Constantly pushing up against the nails just to breathe while scraping the wounds on your back against raw splintered wood. Humiliated by anyone who wanted to view human suffering, and when they grew tired, they simply break your legs so you can no longer lift your body for breath. Except Jesus, his legs did not need to be broken because he was already fulfilling God’s plan.
Only a Symbol
So when I look at the cross, I do not see an idol to bow to or worship but a symbol of the most significant event in human history. Christ came to Earth and died the most excruciating death to bear the sins of mankind. God’s ways are beyond our comprehension but only blood washes away the filth of sin. Only the cleansed can enter the kingdom of God. Nothing imperfect can stand in the presence of such an omnipotent Creator because of his glory, his perfection, and his realm of existence. Imagine how pure the blood of Jesus must be to wash away ALL the sins of mankind, so much so, that we can now pray directly to God and one day step foot in the kingdom of Heaven.
Next time you look at the cross, there is more to consider than just remembering the unfathomable sacrifice. When I take a second look at this symbol, I see a man standing with his feet together and arms outstretched. Outstretched to embrace anyone and everyone who is willing to put themselves aside and walk into his loving arms.
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Verse For Thought
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
Photography and Writing by Jon Frederick with Seven11 Also listen to our Podcast!
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