We see the cross everywhere. It is one of the most ubiquitous symbols in the world. It’s so pervasive that we may well have forgotten what it means. Worse yet, we may have become totally numb to what it represents. It’s possible that by putting this symbol in front of our eyes constantly, we’ve desensitized ourselves to the effect it should have on us. It’s a symbol of death. It’s a symbol of pain and suffering (I have written about his before more in depth, so if you would like to read that ===> CLICK HERE ). Being desensitized to something as important as the cross is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to us…and if I was the devil…It’s exactly the kind of thing I would want to see happen.
To us, the cross is a religious symbol. When we see it, a few different things may come to mind. We may think about church, or Christian holidays. A lot of people seem to even attach some type of superstitious aspect to it. They think that it brings luck, protection, or some other mystical effect. However, what should we think about when we see it? Should it make us feel guilty or anxious because we haven’t gone to church in a while? Should we say a quick prayer, asking for forgiveness for things we forgot to ask forgiveness for? The list could go on and on.
The reality of the situation is this: It is my personal belief that the vast majority of people don’t think about what it really means when they see it, and that’s exactly what the devil would want. he would want for us to be distracted from its true significance. he would never want for us to ponder what happened on that Friday almost 2000 years ago. he would want for us to turn the cross into a meaningless or superstitious symbol…totally numbing ourselves to the impact it should have on our minds and hearts. Many people think the devil would want to see it removed from the public eye. I disagree…because having it be in front of our faces and misused is exactly the type of thing that robs it of its power.
This morning, I was sitting here staring at a fire in my wood stove and thinking about all of my mistakes and failures. I know…I know…fun subject. Feelings of guilt and anxiety rushed in. I became immediately uncomfortable with myself. I became like a man under condemnation. I felt so guilty inside. Fear of judgment flooded my heart…wondering if God truly has forgiven me…doubting whether or not He actually loves me. As I stared at the flames, I pondered a Scriptural passage:
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.”
~ Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)
I quickly grabbed my phone and opened a web page to do an image search. I searched for “cross of Jesus.” The image above was one of the ones I found. I stared at that rough and brutal cross for a few moments. As I did this, the numbness began to subside. I thought about what that passage of Scripture really means. Imagine having all of your mistakes, failures, rebellions, etc. recorded in a written ledger and placed before you. In a court of law, it is damning evidence from which you can find no escape. satan is called “the accuser,” (Rev. 12:10). he is called this in a legal sense as he accuses us before God in some way. As I stared at that image, comfort and peace began to totally invade my soul. By dying for us, Jesus took all of our ledgers, claimed them as His own…not just in a possessive sense, but in a guilty sense. He stood in my place before the Judge and plead “guilty.” As they horrifically stretched Him out and nailed Him to that harsh and crude piece of wood, our guilt was there in Him.
The cross isn’t a symbol of religion. It isn’t a talisman or a lucky charm. It isn’t some mystical relic. It is the symbol of our guilt being punished. It is the promise of mercy. It is the proof of our innocence. The cross means that we are forgiven. It means that we are no longer under accusation…and this is something the devil never wants us to remember. he cannot harm us. he can only choke us into anxiety and guilt by taking our minds away from this reality…and one of the best ways to do it is to desensitize us to it. If I was the devil, I would put it everywhere. I would make sure that everyone got the wrong idea about its meaning.
Ponder the cross. Consider what it means…and don’t let that slimy snake steal away with its power.
Image taken from: http://www.christianitydaily.com/articles/2965/20150403/good-friday-2015-top-10-bible-quotes-jesus-christ.htm