A few weeks ago one of my favorite families in our senior adult ministry called and asked me if they could stop by – they said they had a gift for me. Of course I said yes and when they came the gift was in a bag and very heavy. They told me it was for both Jan and me and so I told them I wouldn’t open it until Jan was home.
When we opened the gift we were taken back by a cross. As you can see in the picture above, it is not anything like what most decorative crosses are. Not only is it heavy, it is rough and rugged. It looks like it is pieced together and it has a smaller cross attached to it.
To Christians the cross is a central symbol of what God did for us through the sending of Jesus to die for us. We sing a variety of hymns, songs, and choruses that say something about the cross. One of our favorites is “The Old Rugged Cross.”
What cannot be seen on the picture above of our cross is the entire collection of Bible verses and sayings all over it. I want to share them with you to encourage, affirm, and challenge you as you give some thought to Why the Cross Means So Much to us:
Strength, Hope, Faith, love, grace
Trust in the Lord
A Friend Loves at all Times
May the Lord bless and keep you
Live Laugh Love
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
The Joy of the Lord is my Strength
Lord hear my prayer
Rejoice in THE Lord
Let’s also be reminded of some selected passages in the New Testament that speak to us and our relationship to the cross:
Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’
Luke 14:27, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Galatians 6:14, “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.”
I Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
Hebrews 12:1 and 2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 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.”
I agree with hymn writer George Bennard, I love that old cross!
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