PERSPECTIVE: The cross
Have you ever noticed the number of crosses you can see in a day? Drive down the street and you will see crosses atop steeples and red crosses painted on the sides of vehicles. Walk into many hospital rooms and you will find a cross hung above the bed. Homes are decorated with ornate crosses on the walls. Some of the most beautiful jewelry ever made are crosses to be hung around the neck.
One of my favorite sights is the cross on the side of the mountain as I drive into Falls Creek. And have you seen the huge cross on I-40 in Texas, just across the state line, or the major league cross on I-35 in Edmond?
Crosses seem to be everywhere. All kinds of people wear them—even some of the most unsavory characters. There appears to be no connection with the true meaning of the Cross and many of those who choose to put it on as jewelry. Hollywood celebrities with absolutely no testimony of faith often wear them, as do countless athletes without any faith witness whatsoever.
While the cross as a decorative element can be found almost everywhere, it seems to me the Cross is often missing in the one place it is essential. I am not referring to its use as a symbol, but to the Cross as the core truth of the Christian faith. The message of the Cross seems to be in short supply in many gatherings called the church.
Consider the music of the church. While I personally love the beautiful choruses we sing as an act of worship, I fear they have eroded our need to sing testimony songs that clearly declare the power of the Cross to transform sinners. Music in the church should not be an either/or but a both/and expression of our worship. Some have chosen to avoid songs that speak of the Cross and the blood of Jesus for fear lost people will not understand. I suggest the lost will never understand if they have never heard! Let me sing “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Nothing but the Blood,” “Down at the Cross” and “Victory in Jesus” to a lost and dying world because the message of the Cross is my saving grace.
There is an increasingly large group of preachers who do not declare the power of the Cross. Some choose not to proclaim the Cross of Christ because they cannot do so without dealing with sin. And the great offense of the church, according to some, is to preach the negative message of sin. Go figure. They want to preach nice, positive, uplifting messages that do not trouble people over their sin. OH MY!!!!!!!
If there is a truth this old sin-sick world needs to hear, it is the message of the Cross of Calvary. No Cross—no salvation. It is simple. Mankind is lost in sin, rebellious and without hope. BUT God so loved the world that He sent His precious Son Jesus Christ to die as the sacrifice for our sins. He took our judgment and hell upon Himself so that we might be forgiven. All who turn from sin and turn to the Christ Who shed His precious blood on the Cross will be saved.
If that message is too messy, negative or old-fashioned, then so be it. I will sing and preach the Word of the Cross to dying men in need of the Savior until I die.