?The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. Alongside the German-Austrian border, it towers 9,718 feet high. You can go up the mountain by cog railway or cable car but not to the peak. The last few yards, you must walk or climb. On the top of the peak is a cross. Climbers believe it is worth the sacrifice to make it to the cross. We feel that way about Calvary. It is worth it to make it to the cross.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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So many stories have come out of the terrorist attack of September 11. One of the most poignant, carried by the Associated Press, was the discovery by rescue workers in the rubble of the World Trade Center of a large perfectly shaped cross, twenty feet tall.

The cross was formed as a result of the destruction. It was made up of the steel that had been part of that great structure. Many of the workers cried, and the cross was lifted up and became a kind of rallying point and makeshift memorial. Out of all the destruction and pain of this world rises the cross. The place where God took a tragedy and transformed it into victory.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching January/February 2002

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The sculptures of Michelangelo thrill art lovers all over the world. They are moved by the grace of his David, but he never signed it. They are awed by the majesty of his Moses, but he never signed it. They are thunderstruck at the impact of the Medici Tomb, but he never signed it. The only sculpture he ever signed is the Pieta – Mary taking Jesus down from the cross. The only work that bears his name is the one that reflects the crucifixion.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching March/April 2002

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, always kept a cross in his pocket. He kept it there to remind himself that there is something more important in life than basketball!
The cross reminds us that there is something more important in life than anything else – that Jesus died and rose again. That’s more important than politics, business, romance, education, your career, your health, your safety. That’s even more important than your very life!

-Michael Shannon, Preaching March/April 2002

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The largest cross in the world is located on Bald Knob mountain in southern Illinois. It towers 111 feet high and can be seen for miles in every direction. But the true cross towers higher. It towers above our vain ambition, above our petty concerns, above all that is material, or worldly. It towers above life itself!

-Michael Shannon, Preaching March/April 2002

 

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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For the Christian, the cross is both a symbol of horror and hope. Our Lord Jesus died an excruciatingly painful and shameful death on the cross – drinking empty the cup of God’s wrath. And the author of Hebrews reminds us that, though painful, it was with the expectation of future joy that Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, “endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2).
This great symbol of the Christian faith has become less a token of hope and more a meaningless sign commercialized in jewelry, bumper stickers, cards, bookmarks – you name it! Calvin Miller refers to these as “celluloid crosses.” He comments that: “Our world has literally gone ‘cross crazy.’ . . . We have literally ‘crucified’ the cross with overexposure! What does God expect of me in an age which undermines Jesus’ sacrifice? I must cast off the cross as kitsch if I ever regain it as the rough bloody wood of Jesus’ horror. The crucified Jesus was not a figure of silver hung on polished ebony. He was not a crucifix of cold, unfeeling metal, but a human being whose blood oozed out into the chilling winds of an April morning in the third decade of the first century. It is not what the Cross was to Jesus, but what it is to me that is so crucial” (Once Upon A Tree, p. 147).
When you think of the cross are you more inclined to conjure up images of gold and silver or that of Jesus’ victory over death and sin?

-Derl G. Keefer, Preaching September/October 2002

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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A church in Boca Raton Florida has cut a deal to put a 99-foot phone tower inside the cross of their building. Some church members opposed the plan and thought it sacrilegious. Others thought it good business and stewardship. The cross will be carrying messages around the world. Regardless of how you feel about the church’s decision, one thing we know: this is true of the cross. The cross of Christ still communicates and its message reaches every part of the world.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching July/August 2003

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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There is a story about a brother in a monastery who was assigned to preach. All the brothers came into the chapel and found the lights off. The brother who was supposed to preach lit a candle. He took that candle and held it up to the crucifix. There he illuminated the thorn crowned brow, the pierced hands and feet and after doing so for a few seconds he extinguished the candle and dismissed the audience. He said that it was a sermon on the love of Christ. And so it was.

-Michael Shannon, Preaching November/December 2003

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The president of William and Mary College recently made a controversial decision to remove the cross from the historic Wren Chapel, on the college campus. While William and Mary is a state institution, it was at one time affiliated with the Anglican Church. The cross was a gift from the Bruton Parish church at Williamsburg, Virginia. Some alumni are outraged, many citing that the chapel is a part of the school’s history, and it should not be ashamed of its Christian heritage. This goes to show that you can remove the cross from a building, but not from people’s hearts.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Jesus
did not liken the kingdom of God to a diamond, but to a pearl.  Of all
precious stones, the pearl has the humblest origin.  It begins with a wound
and is created out of God’s resources for healing the wound.  So the kingdom
begins with a wound, the wound in the body of Jesus.  Then we marvel at
God s resources for healing: physically, mentally, spiritually!

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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There is a story about a brother in a monastery
who was assigned to preach. All the brothers came into the chapel and
found the lights off. The brother who was supposed to preach lit a
candle. He took that candle and held it up to the crucifix. There he
illuminated the thorn crowned brow, the pierced hands and feet and
after doing so for a few seconds he extinguished the candle and
dismissed the audience. He said that it was a sermon on the love of
Christ. And so it was.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In its column,
“You Asked Us,” the Canadian Magazine recently dealt with Hitler’s
use of the swastika. Included in their article was the following statement.

In the end, if
his National Reich Church had been established, the swastika would have replaced
the cross. Point 30 of the proposed National Reich Church’s 30-point program,
drawn up during the war, read: “On the day of its foundation, the Christian
cross must be removed from all churches, cathedrals, and chapels…it must
be superseded by the only unconquerable symbol, the swastika.”

History is the
commentary on the folly of Hitler’s dreams and on the futility of all who would
seek to destroy the Church of Christ.

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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A
church in Boca Raton Florida has cut a deal to put a 99-foot phone
tower inside the cross of their building. Some church members opposed
the plan and thought it sacrilegious. Others thought it good business
and stewardship. The cross will be carrying messages around the
world. Regardless of how you feel about the church’s decision, one
thing we know: this is true of the cross. The cross of Christ still
communicates and its message reaches every part of the world.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In a recent issue of his Key Life magazine, Steve Brown observed, “The source of almost all spiritual problems is an inappropriate effort to avoid the cross. When we, as the Church, turn away from the cross, we miss the path that God has given us – the path to freedom, joy, faithfulness and forgiveness.

“We think the cross is fine and necessary for those who aren’t saved . . . but once we’re saved, it is no longer relevant to our lives. We, as Christians, forget that the cross is the very paradigm for who we are and everything we do, think, feel and believe.”

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The American Clergy Leadership Conference – a group founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon — announced recently that it wanted to to promote reconciliation among Christians, Jews and Muslims, in part by examining how Christian traditions are understood by members of other religions.

One of the group’s leaders — Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., a former Roman Catholic priest who left the church in 1989 to found the African-American Catholic Congregation – said, “We have realized that, as expressions of faith, there are certain symbols that have stood in the way . . . The cross has served as a barrier in bringing about a true spirit of reconciliation between Jews and … Muslims and Christians, and thus we have sought to remove the cross from our Christian churches across America as a sign of our willingness to remove any barrier that stands in the way of us coming together as people of faith.”

The cross a barrier? Of course it is! There will always be those who want to achieve peace with God through their own efforts. But the cross represents our utter inadequacy to satisfy God by our own efforts. That’s why the apostle Paul proclaimed, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).”

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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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For the Christian, the cross is both a symbol of horror and hope. Our Lord
Jesus died an excruciatingly painful and shameful death on the cross —
drinking empty the cup of God’s wrath. And the author of Hebrews reminds us
that, though painful, it was with the expectation of future joy that Jesus, the
Author and Perfecter of our faith, “endured the cross, despising the
shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews
12:2).

This great symbol of the Christian faith has become less a token of hope and
more a meaningless sign commercialized in jewelry, bumper stickers, cards,
bookmarks — you name it! Calvin Miller refers to these as “celluloid
crosses.” He comments that: “Our world has literally gone ‘cross
crazy.’ … We have literally ‘crucified’ the cross with overexposure! What
does God expect of me in an age which undermines Jesus’ sacrifice? I must cast
off the cross as kitsch if I ever regain it as the rough bloody wood of Jesus’
horror. The crucified Jesus was not a figure of silver hung on polished ebony.
He was not a crucifix of cold, unfeeling metal, but a human being whose blood
oozed out into the chilling winds of an April morning in the third decade of
the first century. It is not what the Cross was to Jesus, but what it is to me
that is so crucial” (Once Upon A Tree, p. 147).

When you think of the cross are you more inclined to conjure up images of gold
and silver or that of Jesus’ victory over death and sin?

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The sculptures of Michelangelo thrill art lovers all over the world. They are
moved by the grace of his David, but he never signed it. They are awed by the
majesty of his Moses, but he never signed it. They are thunderstruck at the
impact of the Medici Tomb, but he never signed it. The only sculpture he ever
signed is the Pieta — Mary taking Jesus down from the cross. The only work
that bears his name is the one that reflects the crucifixion.

___________________________

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, always kept a cross in his pocket.
He kept it there to remind himself that there is something more important in
life than basketball!
The cross reminds us that there is something more important in life than
anything else – that Jesus died and rose again. That’s more important than
politics, business, romance, education, your career, your health, your safety.
That’s even more important than your very life!

___________________________

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The largest cross in the world is located on Bald Knob mountain in southern
Illinois. It towers 111 feet high and can be seen for miles in every direction.
But the true cross towers higher. It towers above our vain ambition, above our
petty concerns, above all that is material, or worldly. It towers above life
itself!

___________________________

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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So many stories have come out of the terrorist attack of September 11. One of
the most poignant, carried by the Associated Press, was the discovery by rescue
workers in the rubble of the World Trade Center of a large perfectly shaped
cross, twenty feet tall.

The cross was formed as a result of the destruction. It was made up of the
steel that had been a part of that great structure. Many of the workers cried,
and the cross was lifted up and became a kind of rallying point and makeshift
memorial. Out of all the destruction and pain of this world rises the cross.
The place where God took a tragedy and transformed it into victory.

___________________________

Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In the heyday of British rule it used to be said that the sun never set on the
British Empire. Because the British flag consists of three crosses,
superimposed one on another, the sun also never set on the cross!

The British Empire is gone, but it is still true that the sun never sets on the
cross. The day begins on the island of Tonga in the Pacific near the
International Date Line. There is a cross on the flag of Tonga, and so the
first rays of the rising sun shine on the cross. Before the sun sets on Tonga,
it has risen on New Zealand where there is a cross on the flag. Before the sun
sets on New Zealand, it has risen on Australia where there is a cross on the
flag. Before the day ends in Australia, a new day has begun on the islands of
the Seychelles, and there also is a cross on the flag. Before the day ends
there, it has begun in Africa where half a dozen nations have a cross on their
flag. Before the day ends in Africa, a new day has begun in Europe where five
nations have a cross on the flag. Before the day’s ends in Europe, a new day
has begun in North America where Canadian provinces from Newfoundland in the
east to British Columbia in the west have flags with crosses. And before the
day ends in British Columbia, it has begun in Hawaii where there is a cross on
the flag. And by the time the day ends in Hawaii a new day has already begun on
the island of Tonga. The sun never sets on the cross.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In the Sixth century the Emperor Justin II presented to the Vatican a cross. It
was made of gold and covered with precious stones. The value of it is beyond
calculating. In the center was a splinter of wood. That splinter seems out of
place in such a jeweled cross until you know that Justin believed it was a
splinter of wood from the cross of Christ.

Today one suspects that Justin may have been the victim of a very good
salesman. Certainly it would be fascinating if we had a splinter of wood from
the cross. But if we did, it would not make Communion more sacred. It would not
make sermons on the cross more effective. It would not make our worship more
spiritual. It would not make our churches more holy. For it is not the cross
itself that is at the heart of our religion. It is the Christ who died on the
cross. And He promised that He would be present every time the cup of Communion
is lifted in His honor, every time His sacrifice is spoken of in sermon or
lesson, every time His followers meet in His name. We do have something from
the cross of Christ. We have the presence of Christ Himself.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In 1934 the city of San Francisco erected a cross, 103 feet tall and 39 feet
across, on the top of Mt. Davidson in a public park. For years “Easter” services
were held there. But in March of 1997 the Supreme Court ruled that the presence
of the cross violated the state Constitution of California. Unless city
officials can find a way to transfer ownership of the cross, it will have to
come down. The apostle Paul and the apostle Peter were both right when they
wrote about the offense of the cross. (I Corinthians 1:23: Romans 9:32, I Peter
2:8)

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In the Sixth century, the Emperor Justin II presented to the Vatican a cross. It
was made of gold and covered with precious stones. The value of it is beyond
calculating. In the center was a splinter of wood. That splinter seems out of
place in such a jeweled cross until you know that Justin believed it was a splinter
of wood from the cross of Christ. Today one suspects that Justin may have been
the victim of a very good salesman.

Certainly it would be fascinating if we had a splinter of wood from the cross.
But if we did, it would not make Communion more sacred. It would not make
sermons on the cross more effective. It would not make our worship more
spiritual. It would not make our churches more holy.

For it is not the cross itself that is at the heart of our religion. It is the
Christ who died on the cross. And He promised that He would be present every
time the cup of Communion is lifted in His honor, every time His sacrifice is
spoken of in sermon or lesson, every time his followers meet in his name. We do
have something from the cross of Christ. We have Christ himself present.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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When Ivo Andric was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1961, the
committee cited his epic novel The Bridge on the Drina as reason enough for the
award. The Bridge on the Drina is historical fiction. It traces the history of
what we once knew as Yugoslavia and the various civilizations that have risen
and fallen there. The bridge became both the centerpiece and the symbol of the
great events that have occurred in that tragic land.

In the same way, the cross has become both the centerpiece and the symbol of
Christianity. Of course, Christianity is about much more than a cross, but the
cross is a useful vehicle to encapsulate so much of our faith, and a useful
tool to explain and illuminate the whole religion. As an old hymn says,
“All the light of sacred story gathers ’round its head sublime.”

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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The Orthodox Church does not have statues like the Catholic Church, but they do
revere holy pictures, or icons. In Russia the most important of these icons was
the Virgin of Vladimir. Both Ivan the Terrible and Nicholas II carried it into
battle. They believed they could not be defeated if that picture went before
their army.

We mean something quite different when we sing “Onward, Christian
soldiers, Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus, Going on before.”
Some may not be comfortable with the military motif, but in fact there is a
great struggle between good and evil, and we take our place in that struggle
only because of the confidence we gained from the cross — and from the Christ Who died on it.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In his history of remarkable entertainers, Ricky Jay told the story of Tommy
Minnick. Minnick had learned how to stand excruciating pain. Just before the
turn of the century, in a hall in Trenton, New Jersey, he was actually nailed
to a cross. Of course, he didn’t stay on it very long, and he was taken down
alive. But it is a useful reminder that the old song was right. We are saved by
the Christ of the cross, not by the cross of the Christ.

Someone has said, “We have smoothed the cross and sanded it and polished
it and hung it in our sanctuaries and forgotten what it meant. We’ve fashioned
it of gold or silver and hung it around our necks and forgotten what it
meant.” We must ever remember that the significance of the cross lies in
the Person Who died on it.

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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Your email address will not be published.