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. –1 Corinthians 1:18
What is a symbol? Simply put, it is “something used for or regarded as representing something else.” We see symbols everyday. For example, the Nike swoosh symbol represents athletic gear. A red octagon on a street corner is the symbol to stop. Other symbols are used to show prestige or power. For some, buying a Mercedes or owning an Armani suit can be a symbol that says, “I have made it” in the business world. For Adam and Eve, the fruit was a symbol of divine knowledge. It was something they felt they had to have.
The symbol for Christianity has long been the cross. It seems almost counterintuitive to use a symbol that represents pain and death as a hallmark for a faith with the goal of telling the whole world about salvation and life. However, when you look past the surface of the cross and at the meaning behind it, it is a wisely and carefully chosen symbol. On the surface, the cross represents how our Lord and Savior, Jesus, died. Below the surface of the symbol, the message of the cross is where one finds true hope.
The message of the cross represents life and peace. It screams out to us that there will no longer be condemnation for it brings freedom, deliverance, and forgiveness. When we look at the cross, we find a symbol of eternal life and acceptance to all who believe. The message of the cross does not end with Jesus’ death, for three days later He rose again and conquered its power. Upon the cross, He took the sin of the world and paid the price due for that sin; the blameless Lamb sacrificed so that we can have eternal life. When we look at the cross, we find an unequaled message from the Lord that says, “You are my beloved. I gave my one and only Son for you so that you may have life with me everlasting…”
1. The cross is a powerful symbol of God’s love for us. In what way do you most relate to its incredible message?
2. With so many symbols surrounding us to seek and go after, the cross can get left behind. What can you do today to keep the message of the cross at the forefront of your life?
Romans 8:1-16; Philippians 2:5-8; Galatians 6:14