What do you see when you look at the cross?
 
Symbols are a part of our everyday lives. Whether it’s a road sign keeping us safe, seeing a brand logo and instantly knowing what you’re buying or a sign on the door making sure you’re entering the right bathrooms. Symbols can, in an instant, communicate an idea or message that would normally require many words.
The cross is the symbol of the Christian faith. When you see a cross on a building you know it is a church, when you see it in a logo you know it is likely a Christian organisation. It of course is so much more than just a
part of Christian ‘branding’. It is an image of hope, faith and the very centre of what our faith is about. The cross is the symbol of the Christian faith. However, the cross wasn’t always a symbol of hope and faith. Over 2000 years ago, when the citizens of Jerusalem and surrounding areas saw a cross it meant something very different to what it does today.

It meant death. At the time Jesus walked the Earth, the Romans had taken over most of the known world. They had spread what they referred to as ‘Pax Romana’ or ‘Roman Peace’. It was a false peace built on conquering people and keeping them in line through fear and punishment. The cross was one of the tools they used to keep people in line. They would regularly crucify criminals, publicly executing them on crosses for all to see.

 In the ancient world it was considered the most humiliating way to be executed as those who were being crucified were usually stripped of their clothes, on display for all to see and placed in spaces that allowed citizens to mock and jeer. It was also an excruciating way to die as it could take days to finally die. The cross was, at that time, a symbol of fear, humiliation and death. But that all changed when they hung the King Of Kings on a cross. Jesus went through pain, humiliation and ultimately death for you.
 
Because of His pain we can now find healing. Because He was broken, we can now be made whole. Instead of fear, we now have hope. Instead of humiliation we have restoration and instead of death we now have life.

This Easter just past was a time to focus on the cross and all that Jesus did for us. It was both a time of powerful reflection as we remember the pain and suffering and as we examine our own lives and the sins that have been forgiven but it is also an amazing celebration of life! New life! Eternal life! We can celebrate the hope we now have.

What’s in the symbol of the cross? It’s a lot of things, but mostly it’s love.

Written by Aaron Brown – Drive announcer on Rhema FM