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
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?
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