by: Rich Vaughan
I HAVE A COLLECTION OF CROSSES. Some are glass, some are stone, but most are wood. They come in all shapes and sizes. I even have a heart-shaped piece where the cross is in the middle of the heart. I have a rough handmade wooden cross made by a former church member. I have a wooden cross that I made for Debbie as a wedding gift, a long time ago. One of my crosses has the 23rd Psalm printed on it. I have a cross necklace that Debbie gave me, years ago, that I rarely take off. I think you get the picture that I have a lot of crosses! The question is why? Why do I have this ancient symbol of torture and death in so many shapes and sizes? BECAUSE I am a Christian and BECAUSE one man (Jesus) changed the complete meaning of the cross. In one moment it went from a symbol of death to a symbol of life. It went from a symbol of heartache and despair to a beacon of grace and hope. The cross reminds us of Jesus; It is a statement of faith; It is a call to discipleship; and it is a symbol of Eternity. It is a reminder of who we are, what we believe, and who we follow.
The crucifixion cross (a cross with Jesus’s figure on it being crucified) reminds us of the price Jesus paid; the real cost of Grace. The empty cross reminds us of Jesus’ victory and power over death. Paul once wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18). He spoke the truth then and it is the truth today in 2021.
The next time you are in your church or watching a church service online, try and notice how many times you see a cross. Hopefully, it is more than once! Church architects often work the symbol of the cross into altars, windows, etc., and it normally adorns steeples. The cross is a powerful symbol of the love of Jesus and a constant reminder that we are called to follow Him. May the cross always before you and may you lift it high so that others will come to know the one who changed forever the image of a cross. Amen & Amen.