2.14.22 The Cross
The cross is the precious symbol of Christianity, of Jesus’s death on the cross, of Jesus himself. When one sees it on most every church, in a necklace, on one’s altar, it is a wonderful reminder of our Savior and all that He means to us Christians. The cross is a constant reminder of Jesus’s agonizing death, of His life, and all that He represents to us. But there is a lot more to the cross than just the life and death of Jesus.
It represents the intersection of heaven and earth. It symbolizes the chosen focus for our lives. Are we intent on the world’s ways, the horizontal bar? or on God’s ways, the vertical bar? If we’re intent on the one, either the world or heaven, the other is always there with us, showing us a different way. The cross can also show us where our choices will lead us—to the earthly cares or to following Christ, to egocentricity or goodness.
The cross also represents the cycle of life/death/resurrection in our lives. Just as Jesus died on the cross, was buried and then resurrected into new life, we, even in the smallest deaths of our hopes and dreams, the challenges big and small that we face, the cross is saying that there is always life after death. And with the big losses, like the death of a loved one, the cross is reminding us that there is a new life waiting for us when we get through the grief. We can trust in God that each challenge has a purpose, and that when we can actually see the reason for each challenge in our lives, our lives will move on to a new phase, a new understanding, even a new life, because God is always with us, always helping us, always loving us.
The cross is a wonderful reminder of God’s, of Christ’s presence in our lives, even when we are not aware of it His support and presence. For we human beings are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). We have the Indwelling Spirit of God within us, if we will reach into our depths to connect with that Spirit, going beyond what the world wants for us. He accompanies us throughout our lives, again, whether we are aware of His presence or not. We are never alone, never abandoned to fate. The cross reminds us of God’s love and forgiveness and caring for us in all that we do. After all, Jesus’s name means “God with us.”
The cross is also our assurance of salvation, of lives dedicated to God and to His purpose for us. It is our assurance that we, too, will be resurrected after death into a whole new life. Paul says it so well in Galatians 6:14: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified in me.” The world has been crucified in me—on this earth we are to live at the intersection of the world and heaven, but no longer of the earth, only in the kingdom of God in heaven.
The cross is our icon, our logo, our reminder of Jesus Christ In our lives. I don’t know how you use the cross in your lives, but I have a small collection along with some pictures of Jesus, the Trinity and an angel on two shelves that face my bed. They are the last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning—an inspiration for my prayers each day.
- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.
Questions to ponder over the week: What meaning does the cross have for me? How do I use it in my life? How do I relate to its theme of life/death/resurrection? How does it help me deal with the challenges that come to me?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who hold the cross deeply in our hearts and minds and spirits. May we be true to the One who suffered on the cross for us.
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