Meaning of the Cross

Image by James Chan from Pixabay

Be it Christians or non Christians, what is the meaning of the cross? Is it an accessory to be worn as fashion statement? Or is it a term of joke and humor? Youth now casually comment, ” Oh God! This is my cross.” He/ She is a cross. Anyone crossing on the temper is labelled as a cross. People who casually use it do not know it’s real value. Just think for a moment. Jesus gave His life on the cross for our sins. He bore the humiliation and jest of the Romans for us. It was painful and hard. Cross was seen as a sign of curse, suffering and damnation by the Roman ( Galatians 3:14, 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.) He became a curse Himself for us. Thus with crucifixion of Christ, the cross became a symbol of victory over evil, a symbol of protection and security, hope and blessing for all. Christ is the Blessed one. Praise the Lord, Praise His name.

1.Cross-Symbol of sacrifice: Jesus is the Son of God. The one to be seated at the right of the Father, gave up that place for us. Instead, He came down to be humiliated and crucified on the cross for us. After that people saw the cross as a sign of sacrifice and of martyrdom.

Galatians 2: 20, 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 5: 24, 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 6: 14,14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

The world craves and follows money, power and authority, beauty and worldly gains. But those who believe in Christ praise and follow the cross which means redemption. It is the only way to salvation.

2. Cross- a sign of new creation: The first parents, Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan and thrown out of Eden. The relationship with Father tampered. With crucifixion and resurrection, the relationship between us and our Father in heaven was re-established and re-confirmed. The way of sin leads to death of the soul. This was changed by the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:19, 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Ephesians 2:14-16, 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Romans 7: 24, 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

Colossians 2: 13-14, 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

3. Cross- a symbol of obedience: Jesus Christ came down to earth and took birth as a human, as the Father Almighty asked of Him. Jesus was already well aware of the pain and suffering in store for Him. The prayer at the Mount of Gethsemane is clear proof of it. Mark 14: 36, 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Yet He gave up His life to fulfill the will of the Father.

4. Cross- a symbol of fellowship: Mark 8: 34, 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Hebrews 2: 17-18, 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Matthew 16:24, 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Luke 9:23, 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. We are weak in spirit and thus when we face the problems and issues in the world, knees buckle and we fall. Thus, we should look at the cross and remember the pain, humiliation.

Cross- Earlier symbol of curse, Now symbol of love and redemption

Hebrews 12:2, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Cross became the symbol of security and hope. With the crucifixion of Christ, those who did not believe in Him believed in Him. And still, we look upon the cross with the hope waiting for His second coming.

6. Cross- victory over evil- Cross is the symbol of victory over sins. Satan deceived Adam and Eve and won. This continued till the crucifixion of Christ. With the crucifixion and resurrection, Satan was defeated forever and we got salvation and were renewed. Colossians 2:15, 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Just as Christ has arisen we too would get new life after death. Understanding the value of the cross, whenever we look upon the cross and wear it, let us remember the cross with faith and respect.

7. Cross- the symbol of remembrance- To give us all a new life, God Almighty gave up His beloved Son for us. The cross is a symbol of remembrance of love, John3: 16-18 1For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. For us sinners, the Son of God was crucified and His blood spilled on the cross. It is a remembrance of the sacrifice, the hope of new life.

8. Cross- symbol of continuing faith: Even after 2000 years, the world offers praise and worship to Christ and come together to partake in Holy Communion.

9. Cross- a sign of salvation and glory- Christ gave salvation to the robber who repented from his sin at the cross. He saved his soul with repentance. This is an example for us. Those who repent from their sins receive salvation and defeat Satan. The cross strengthens those who repent.

Thus, when you wear the cross, do not wear a mere symbol but remember the suffering and humiliation behind it.

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