Friday, June 22, 2012

"What Is The Cross?"

I was in a store the other day and passed by the clothing section. A t-shirt caught my eye. On it were all these scrolls and a cross- I thought it was very pretty, but then I saw a skull on it too. I have seen a lot of different clothing pieces that were printed with crosses and skulls. The first thought that crossed my mind was-- "Why do they always have to place the cross with objects of death". My next thought was- "It was a place of death".

The cross was an instrument of death. It was the place where our beloved Savior Jesus was crucified and died. But for us Christians, if it were only a place of death we would have no hope. But thankfully it is so much more than that.

For us it represents life. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8) "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9)

It represents hope. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:13,14)

It represents healing and deliverance. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

It represents love. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
It represents mercy and grace. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." (Romans 8:3)

It represents the power of God and salvation. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)

It was a place where the penalty of our sins was paid and our pardon was provided. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." (Colossians 2:13,14)

It was where we received reconciliation to God. "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19) "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." (Ephesians 2:16)
It was a place of victory. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

If you think the cross was merely a place where Jesus was crucified or a place of defeat, you are sadly mistaken. It is anything but. So let's rejoice in the cross and stop placing it among dead things and taking it out of its proper place. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14)

Have a great day. If all you see the cross as is a place of death, you need to look at it again.

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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