More On That Ugly Cross
The cross at its core is simply ugly. It is a symbol of capital punishment. Yet some people believe that wearing a cross or hanging a cross in their home is going to make God more favorable to them. Others go further and contribute something akin to magic to the symbol of the cross. Like a ball player crossing himself before hitting a ball. Or believing that hanging a cross in your home is going to keep your home from pain and harm.
The cross is not magic. It is ugly. And inconvenient. Try being the one every Sunday who has to carry our cross from the truck to our location inside Forest Park High School.
How quickly we forget. It took the sacrifice of Christ on the cross to get us to face our inability to meet the mark. To recognize we are in need of a Saviour. But once saved we want to put the cross behind us, hang it prettily around our neck, and go back to trying to meet the marks of a Christian in our own way. (As in our Convicted series: do no harm; do good; and attend to the ordinances of God).We didn’t do so well handling the brokenness of our life before we became a Christian so why do we think we will do it much better after we become a Christian? This cross is not just for the moment of salvation. It is for the moment we understand that we can’t do it on our own. It is for the moment we understand that we need a second chance. That we need supernatural intervention. This ugly cross is needed every day as we still realize we need supernatural intervention to handle life—and we have it because Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Romans 8:34. The cross continues to give us this.
Hopefully this is why you wear your cross. To remind yourself that you do belong to this Christian way, that you are not too messed up, and that you are being redeemed every day. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23. This does not sound like magic and it does sound inconvenient and part of our liturgy of the ordinary. The dailiness of it all.
For Lent we get to look at this ugly cross every Sunday through March. And then…Easter is coming. What happens to this cross will be transforming—to the cross and for your life. Take this journey with us.
Time to respond: What does this cross mean to you? How is your love growing towards this ugly inconvenient cross we have central to our worship during Lent? Please write a few sentences and submit here. Including your name is up to you. We accept all anonymous submissions. I’d like to share these brief stories next week in the next blog.