The meaning of the cross

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: The organization I work for gives a beautiful gold cross to all employees who serve the community during the year. Some refuse the gift saying that it offends them (because it is a cross). Others wear it proudly. What is the significance of the cross? — C.R.

Dear C.R.: From New York’s Fifth Avenue jewelry stores to the airport souvenir counters in Rome, Italy, one piece of jewelry is universally displayed — the cross. It has become a symbol misused by many who do not comprehend its significance.
What does the cross of Jesus mean? If we stopped people on the street to ask that question we might hear, “It’s a symbol for Christianity.” If we asked them, “What happened at the cross?” Some might say that Jesus was nailed to the cross. Others might say the cross is a myth. While most connect the emblem of the cross to religion, many do not understand its meaning.
Walk into the great cathedrals whose spires pierce the sky, and you will see paintings and sculptures memorializing robust men who are still revered, and kind women who reached down to the lowly in compassion. But they are silent in death; they can do nothing today. Sadly, artists have depicted Jesus as feeble, weak, and dead — still hanging on the cross. But this is not the truth; for the One who is depicted hanging lifeless and broken on the cross is instead full of the breath of life, full of glory. He emptied His life’s blood on the cross so that He could fill us with the gift of eternal life by His resurrection.
The cross represents the suffering love of God, bearing the guilt of man’s sin, which alone is able to melt the sinner’s heart and bring him to repentance for salvation. The cross gives a new purpose to life and shows the immeasurable love of God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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