The cross is often viewed as a symbol of Christianity. The symbol represents our belief that Jesus died on a cross. The cross reminds us that Jesus died by crucifixion, a painful method of death used for criminals by the Roman government. To many Christians wearing the cross as jewelry is an expression of their faith.
We use symbols to represent things – a place, an idea, a command, and sometimes a person. A flag could represent an organization or a country; a red traffic light commands drivers to stop. The meaning of a symbol is determined by the designers and by those who have been given authority to protect the symbol.
Where do we go to understand the Christian cross? We go to the Bible, which says in 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (GW Translation): “Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but our message is that Christ was crucified. This offends Jewish people and makes no sense to people who are not Jewish. But to those Jews and Greeks who are called, he is Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom.”
Jesus was crucified on a cross, and this horrible event became an opportunity to observe God’s supreme power and wisdom. Those who opposed Jesus, tortured and killed him in the worst possible way. To their surprise, he rose from the dead, proving that he is unstoppable – one of the key messages of the Christian cross.
While the Christian cross might be a mere symbol or piece of jewelry to some, the Bible teaches that it provided the opportunity for us to witness the greatness of God’s power and wisdom. At the cross, those who opposed Jesus thought they had silenced him forever; Jesus instead proved at the cross that he is unstoppable.
Lord, help us to get to know this unstoppable Jesus of the cross, Amen!