A symbol is something that represents something else through association or resemblance. It is a sign, emblem or an image. Businesses and other organizations use logos to identify and represent their name or brand. One symbol may represent or be associated with more than one thing, person, or ideology because of brand, name, culture, belief systems, etc. Many religious symbols, for example, are associated with both love and hate. Whichever the religious symbol you're connected with, move past the symbol. Get to know the who, what, where, when, and why the symbol is associated to or with the thing, person, or ideology.
The Cross is a universal symbol that many associate with religion. It also represents suffering, pain, execution, Crucifixion, capital punishment; the death penalty. The image of the cross brings fear to some, as it brings to mind its association with acts of hate, prejudice, and racism. Since the beginning of time men, women, and children were put to death upon it. Because of the acts associated to the Cross, and the images that come to mind, some may find it difficult to move past the symbol. We must move past the symbol to get to know the facts of the who, what, where, when, and why. Why stop at the symbol?
Why Stop At The Symbol When The Sustenance Is Available?
The Cross is associated with all of the things mentioned in the previous passage. It has been associated with love and hate since the beginning of time. Remember, the Cross is where Jesus paid our sin debt. It was hate, prejudice, and racism that put Him on the Cross to suffer in pain an execution through Crucifixion; capital punishment -the death penalty. It was a penalty meant for not only Barabbas who was a criminal and murderer in his time, but for us criminals and murderers of our time, and to the end of time. The Cross was meant to curse the one who found himself hanging thereon. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (Galatians 3:13). Jesus' death was meant to stop God's plan of eternal life for ALL who believed, and would ever believe. "But God raised him up and put an end to suffering of death, since it was impossible for him to be held by it (Acts 2:24). Jesus is the sustenance behind the symbol.
The Sustenance Behind The Symbol
God's love is the sustenance that brought Jesus to the Cross, and His love is what kept Jesus on the Cross. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). As followers of Jesus Christ, we see Jesus Who took all of our suffering and shame in order that we do not suffer a criminals, murderers, or sinners death of eternal hellfire. We don't see hate when we look at the cross. We see God's love for us. We see God providing a way for us to escape the death penalty. Jesus is the Way, and the Cross was and is the means; it is the alter where Christ was sacrificed for our sins. What does the symbol of the Cross mean to you? Don't stop at the symbol.
Don't Stop At The Symbol
Move past the symbol and get to know the sustenance. Jesus is the sustenance Who gave His life. "Jesus is The Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6). He gives us (believers) support, endurance, and strength into life eternal.
Get To Know Jesus, He Is more Than A Symbol