WHY DO PEOPLE WEAR A CROSS?
Is the cross a symbol of a murder weapon and if so, should people wear a cross as jewelry? This is a question that is often asked by those who aren’t familiar with the Biblical doctrine of man’s salvation through the Gospel message. Many people literally shudder at the thought of wearing a cross, some are offended when they see others wearing one.
Why do people wear crosses? Should such a symbol as a cross be used as a pretty piece of jewelry? Some people wear a cross just because it is jewelry, it has no special spiritual representation for them. But when Christians wear a cross, it is because they have unashamedly chosen to pick up their cross daily and follow their Savior. Jesus said:
Matthew 10:38: And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
Luke 9:23: And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Luke 14:27: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.
In these Scriptures, Jesus is referring to the fact that, no matter the pain, His disciples (followers) are to surrender themselves to God’s will for their lives, just as He Himself would be doing God’s will by carrying His own cross to His death.
Philippians 2:8: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Most people know that the cross was the method of the death of Jesus Christ, but few seem to realize that it tells the story of God’s salvation plan. The cross represents the redemption that Jesus won for us. There is no salvation without redemption and the cross is where Jesus redeemed us. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel message of the Bible.
The word “Gospel” means “Good News”. Therefore the symbol of the Good News is the cross!
How can the cross be Good News? The answer is that it represents a payment made on our behalf, because God pronounced a penalty to every human being who sinned, and that penalty is death!
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death,
When someone receives Jesus into his or her heart and life, Jesus’ death on the cross pays the penalty due for our sins, and that penalty is death. The bible says that our sins are placed on Jesus and the righteousness of Jesus is credited to us. His death on the cross PAID the penalty for our sins - ALL of them! Jesus took upon Himself our sin and death and in return gave us His righteousness and Eternal Life!
2 Corinthians 5:21: For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
The New Testament speaks of the cross time and time again. Each time the cross is spoken of, it is referring to the Good News of God’s accomplishments through the death of Christ upon the cross.
John 12:31-33: Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die.
In the passage above Jesus teaches that the cross will not only break the power of Satan, (who is referred to as the “prince of this world”), but also will draw all men (not just some people, but all people) to Himself. However, not ALL people who are drawn to Him will come to Him. There are many who reject Him and the message of the Cross.
God took the “LAW”, which was a testimony against us, and nailed it to the cross. The Law is against us because it shows us our sinfulness. God said, “don’t do it” and we do it anyway - that is sin! We broke God’s law. But in Christ’s death, God removed the Law that was opposed to us, took the law away and nailed it to the cross. Now the Christian does not have the testimony of the Law against him, instead, the Christian has God’s grace and power and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to keep him from sinning which the Law had no power to do anyway! See the following verse:
Colossians 2:14: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross,
The Bible warns us that those who do not accept the message of the cross, are enemies of the cross:
Philippians 3:18: For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Being an enemy of the cross of Christ is not a favorable position to be in. Rejecting God’s ONLY provision for salvation, which is through the cross of Jesus Christ, is rejecting salvation itself. There is no other method, no other way to be saved. This is it! Many people say that they cannot accept such a bloody and cruel gospel. But by not accepting they are rejecting, and Christ said He in turn, will reject those who are ashamed of Him. Being ashamed of Him certainly includes being ashamed of His vicarious death on the cross.
Believers in Jesus Christ are identified closely with Him and His cross:
Romans 6:6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Galatians 2:20-21: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
These and other verses of the Bible teach that we are not to be ashamed of the cross of Christ, but are to be closely identified with it instead. The cross signifies death. We are to die to sin and live for righteousness. We can do that, when we receive Christ and His gospel message of the cross.
In realizing our sinfulness and subsequent realization of our need for forgiveness and cleansing, we can turn to God and ask for His mercy and grace. Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, God will forgive the one who has a repentant heart. When He forgives us, He doesn’t just cover our sins, pretending they were never there, He actually takes hold of them and throws them as far as the east is from the west and He does all this through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
By His death, Jesus destroyed him (Satan) who holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). The power of death that Satan holds is the power to cause us to sin which ultimately leads to death because the wages of sin is death!
Yes, the cross was a cruel and violent method of death, but Jesus died for me on that cross that day 2,000 years ago, making it the wonderful, amazing story of my salvation.
The cross demonstrates and reveals to us how much God hates sin - it was our sins that put Him on the cross, my sins and your sins. The cross also demonstrates and reveals God’s immense love for us. He died on the cross, making the way, the only way, for our salvation (Acts 4:12).
Unfortunately, those who reject this single provision that God has provided for salvation, will perish - they reject it because it is foolishness to them:
1 Corinthians 1:18: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Do not be an enemy of the cross of Christ. The bible says, “Today is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
To summarize: The reason people wear crosses, is because they are not ashamed of what Jesus did on the cross for them, but are grateful, glad and excited to share this amazing story of love to everyone they can.
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