The Cross-less Christ
I recently heard a man who serves as the pastor of a large congregation say that he does not have the emblem of a cross anywhere on the church property: external or internal; as not to offend anyone.
This is the state in which many of today’s church have come to. Oh yes, many do still display the cross on their steeples, on their signs, and inside their sanctuary, but their sermons speak of Christ; but seldom mention His cross.
Why would the Christian negate the cross? Because the cross represents sin, and many do not want to deal with sin. Many in the church world have no problem identifying themselves with Christ, but their stance is very different when it comes to identifying themselves with the cross.
The cross is a symbol of death, which is what the sacrifice that Christ made by giving his life enables us to do; put our sin to death. When we wear a cross around our neck as jewelry, and many do, for some it is a symbol of their Christian faith, but to the early church, wearing a cross around their neck would get the same reaction if we were to wear the emblem of the electric chair today.
The people of Jesus’ day, as well as the world today, for the most part, had no problem identifying with the “nice Jesus”, you know, the healer of the sick, the feeder of the hungry, and the provider for the poor, but when He would zero in on their sin, that “nice Jesus” suddenly became “the meddler.”
I once heard one of the most beautiful hymns ever written, “Amazing Grace,” which speaks of God’s miraculous compassion and forgiveness for fallen man, sang like this: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved someone like me.”
They replaced the words “a wretch” with someone. Why? Because man does not want to acknowledge his sin, but until sin has not only been acknowledged, identified, and dealt with, one cannot call themselves Christian.
If you are going to claim Christ, you must accept the cross and its purpose!