The Cross is…

The Cross is controversial because it is more than a symbol – it is the message of the power of God to save mankind from certain death and hell.

David Cameron has come under fire after Government lawyers argued in favour of a cross ban:-

“DAVID Cameron stood accused of hypocrisy yesterday after Government lawyers argued in favour of a workplace ban on wearing crosses.

Two months ago, the Prime Minister said Christians should be allowed to display the symbol of their belief and pledged to protect religious freedoms. But yesterday, EU judges were told to ignore an appeal by four devout British Christians barred from showing their faith in the workplace.
The Government lawyer stunned the four when he said that if they did not like the ban they could always “resign and move to another job”. In July, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons that the right to wear the cross at work was “an absolutely vital freedom”. He even pledged to change the law to “make clear that people can wear religious symbols at work”,
But yesterday, campaigners were quick to slam Mr Cameron for failing to follow through on his public stance.” (Original story here)

The cross was the most barbaric death known to man. It was invented by the chaldeans (and was designated for Mordechai by Haman in the book of Esther). It was fully utilized by the Romans and was designed to give one message – mess with us and you could be next. It would typically be done by tying the victim to the cross member, having him carry it to the site, nailing his hands or wrists to it, lifting it onto the vertical pole and finally nailing the feet. Victims could take days to die in excruciating pain every minute like an hour, every hour like a week.Witnessing such agony would traumatise and drive away any thoughts of crossing this government. Our saviour Jesus willingly submitted himself to this at 30 years of age at the prime of his life with all his life before Him, to such an experience.

The writer of Corinthians tells us that there are two views of the cross in common to those who do not follow Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 “For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Firstly, it is seen as a stumbling block (skandalon – offense) – offensive to other religions and secondly as foolishness – (moreah) – absurd. Our Prime Minister sees the cross as “ridiculous” – but he notes that many other religious people find it “offensive” and so he sends his lawyers to get it banned.

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.”

…But to those who are being saved it is Gods great statement, one for ALL time and once for ALL people… love it or hate it – you cannot deny it.
The Cross is the thing that separates Christianity from all religions.

The cross is Gods statement that something was very wrong with the life of mankind.

…a sign of correction.
If your child’s school work is covered with crosses (red X’s) it’s a sign of correction. A teacher corrects their work for the right reason – so that they learn because bad practice early on will have future consequences  Sin has cursed us to keep getting the wrong answers to life and sin has taken us on the wrong course in life and there will be consequences to this. The cross stops us in our way and corrects our course in life by telling us to stop doing things the wrong way and take Gods correction and Gods direction. Living a life where we think we are able to direct our own lives is folly that ends in the grave and hell and it’s up to us to take correction or to keep making the mistake that we are right about life and eternity.
The message of the cross has never changed and rings out clearly through the centuries and still applies today.

…a sign of affection.
A little girl came home from school beaming. Her mum asked her why. She said that her homework was so good that the teacher put kisses beside every answer! Seriously though, when you get or send a letter of affection or valentine or birthday card you “seal with a kiss ( X)”. The Bible tells us that the cross is a demonstration of the affection that God has for all mankind. ( John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”) At the cross God has made one great statement about His love ….

Romans 5:8 “But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

When we hated God and had no time for Him He still loved us enough to die for us and in our place. His love is not performance based. Your efforts cannot make Him love you more – He died for you when you were at your WORST.

Hebrews 9:12 “nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

Its a one time eternal redemption for all mankind offered freely for everybody. God doesn’t love me more than you, He loves us the same as a good father should and like a good father, longs for us to come back to Him. The cross IS Gods sign of the great affection he has for you and I.

…a sign of collection.
In the old towns they would talk in places of gathering at the “market CROSS”. In town the two main intersections would locally be referred to as the cross. Its a place where people could collect…historically a place where people would gather, a place of increasing and multiplying numbers and God collects precious souls at the cross. Every week we meet at church, we meet at the cross… that’s why we break bread today. God Gathers and Adds at the cross.

Act 2:47 “praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Christianity is the worlds fastest growing movement – MILLIONS are being saved daily through the message of the cross. God is collecting souls and saving them at the cross every day.

…a sign of selection
Every few years you get the chance to listen to self interested politicians telling you anything to get you to put a cross in the right box on the voting sheet. The choice we make can have profound effects. For these people are the ones who will make laws that will affect you and your children.

An old sign in rural USA said “choose your rut carefully – you will be in it for the next 100 miles!”

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call Heaven and earth to record today against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live.”

Who gets your vote…. who do you chose to do the right thing and to take care of your future and that of your children – self? religion? money? Where is your X going on the list?

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

I came to that place of selection and made my choice over 25 years ago and put my X beside the one I trusted to govern MY life and I want to say today that He has done me no wrong…. What we have been through only God could have kept our course steady. I testify that He has been just, loving, providing, and caring for the needs of me and my family ever since the day I saw the cross and put my life in Jesus hands. I raised my banner and took up my own cross. I chose Jesus when He chose me showing me the place of correction and affection at the cross.
There are many who when the right to vote comes round they don’t even go out and make a choice. BUT In doing so they are complicit in whatever happens by NOT making a choice. Such people have no right to comment on whatever way the government take them.
If you DON’T make ANY choice in terms of your eternal destiny you have no right to complain when the road takes you where you did not expect.

Winston Churchill ruefully observed “The greatest argument against democracy is a 5 minute chat with the average voter!” Many choose religion based on such ridiculous notions “that’s what I was born into” or “it sounds nice”.

Many get so confused by it all that they end up not participating, but GOD demands a choice…. He insists you put you CROSS in a box and a non vote is by default a wrong choice. God so loves you that he not only gives you the free vote – He tells you the right choice to make!
Deuteronomy 30:19 “Now choose life…”

The Cross is and always will be Gods statement of his correction, His affection and His collection BUT the SELECTION is your call.
Many Islamic people choose the LATE Muhammed
Many Buddhist people choose the LATE Buddha
Many Jehovah Witnesses choose the LATE C.T. Russell
Many Mormon people choose the LATE Joe Smith

BUT I CHOOSE the LIVING JESUS the author of Life!

God demands a choice at the cross, what’s yours?

The cross is by Adam
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