For Christians the cross is a priceless logo
A LOGO is important and companies spend as much as £11 million for a distinctive symbol. The cross is the long-standing logo of Christianity and is found in most Christian churches in some form or another. But is it understood?
To human reasoning, the cross of Jesus Christ appears foolishness. If Jesus is the Son of God, why would God allow Him to suffer such a death? If it was God’s will and purpose that His Son should die, what could be accomplished by such a barbaric event? If we then give the explanation that it was a death Jesus died as the substitute for sinners, human pride is offended.
The truth is that the cross is the wisdom of God and we can appreciate it only as God Himself enlightens our minds to understand what the Bible calls a mystery - truth that can only be understood with divine enlightenment. This again is offensive to human pride, for we like to think that little is beyond our ability to understand. If we think we can understand the death of Christ by human intelligence alone, we are doomed to failure. To enter into its secrets we need to become as humble and teachable as little children.
God’s wisdom means He forms the best designs and the best means of carrying them into execution. We have to be educated in order to learn wisdom, but it is God’s essence. It is seen most of all in His eternal purpose of bringing men and women into friendship and fellowship with Himself through the cross of His Son. He was not surprised by the human rebellion described in the first book of the Bible. His answer was a plan of rescue for men and women from sin and its consequences that might allow them to end up in a better position for eternity.
The centre of that plan was God’s Son becoming man and dying on the cross for our sins. In God’s wisdom His Son, being both God and man, was able to be the one mediator between God and men. The Bible gives reasons for God’s plan.
The first is that it shows the limitations of human wisdom and intelligence: it is a plan that human minds could never have imagined possible. God does not frustrate human wisdom because He despises it, but because it is seriously flawed.
The second reason is that God’s solution removes all grounds for human boasting before Him, whether about our achievements or our wisdom. It is out of place.
The cross means either nothing to us or everything. A former Northern Ireland minister, Sir Brian Mawhinney, remembers a Christian friend telling him: "There is nothing you can ever do that will make God love you more and there is nothing you can do that will make God love you less. And the measure of God’s love for you is already set: He gave His Son to die for you." When we understand that, the cross becomes the reason for everything that we do. The cross is a logo beyond price!
The Rev Derek Prime is a retired Baptist minister
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