Way of the Cross: Die Daily; Rise Daily
“. . . unless a grain . . . dies. . .” (John 12:24)
I’ve said this before, but it really has been such a blessing to drive across America. I’ve seen and experienced many things. Most dramatic is the cross, and how I’ve changed in my view of it. It has taken 80,000 miles/125,000 km to develop a love for this incredible symbol of our relationship with our Messiah, our Savior, Y’shuaJesus.
I’ve seen crosses on the sides of mountains, atop church steeples, on the sides of churches, on houses, on advertising billboards, and even on trucks and cars. The tallest crosses I’ve ever seen, perhaps 300 feet/100 meters, are being placed in strategically visible places across America by a non-profit organization. In a country with modern Sodom on one coast and modern Gomorra on another, we have crosses nearly everywhere in between.
Let me briefly share how I viewed the cross before my trucking/evangelistic odyssey. Years ago, in a museum, I stared long and even photographed a sculpture of a First-Century victim being crucified. He we as suspended upon a pole. I’d heard before the talk of the cross as an vision of Constantine. I knew about the Egyptian life sign, which is a form of a cross. Most damaging to my view of the traditional cross is the translation of the Greek word for cross:
σταυρός stow-ros,’ a stake or post (as set upright), that is, (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively exposure to death, that is, self denial; by implication the atonement of Christ: – cross.
Oh, to be sure I valued the Celtic cross, being Welsh-American and proud of my heritage. But as a symbol of Christianity I choose the sign of the fish. Its origin is with the persecuted First-Century church. It seemed to speak of faith. Yet seeing the traditional Twenty-First Century cross displayed across America, I am reaching toward it as a truer symbol of faith. The symbol is now universally recognized as Christian, universally identified with our Messiah. In fact, I’ve heard the symbol of the cross is offensive to many of the American “churches” who have fallen away from Christ as the only way to G-d. It is considered horrid by some for it symbolizes death.
Death. Precisely the point. We are to accept the death of our old way of living, believing, being. We are to accept a new life in Messiah. Thank You Lord, for the old way really wasn’t working anyway.
So the cross is not just a symbol of death, but of life. Following death on the cross, Y’shuaJesus rose to a resurrected life. We, too, baptized in His death, rise to new life. We are to life a resurrected life. We are here, on Earth, in old bodies, but our soul is resurrected. Our true life is a resurrected life.
The cross, then, is a symbol of overcoming death, of rising from the ashes of the fire and living beyond reproach, beyond approach by the enemy of G-d. If we are, as I’ve heard us described, a broken people, we better view ourselves as once broken, now mended by the Holy Spirit living within. Like a China teacup shattered upon a stone pathway, G-d puts us back together and holds us that way. We are His people. We have our new life in Him.
In my kindled love for the symbol of the cross, I look for it upon churches that I pass. I notice it more, and pray more for those institutions and people who display it. My pray is us all to live the way of the cross. To live the powerful new life the cross symbolizes.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .