Talking About The Cross

There seems to be two differing extremes when people talk about the cross.

There are some who speak nothing of the cross. Granted, it is something of an oxymoron to be a Christian and to say nothing about the cross. It is something of a misnomer to assign the title of Christian to someone not be totally constantly in awe of the cross.

Yet, some people exist that are of that disposition, entrenched in either emotionalism or knowledge-ism. A lot of them are so far entrenched in this cross-less Christianity because I believe that they have not experienced what true love and regeneration there is in the cross and how it impacts us daily. Through this ignorance, there is no growth, but further and further retreat away from Christ. The reality is, if really Jesus did die on the cross for the world, then surely we would be changed. Moreover, if Christ did rise again from the dead, this is surely a hope that one day we would all be rescued from the ultimate death.

Charles Spurgeon says of Christ:

The motto of all true servants of God must be, “We preach Christ; and him crucified.” A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching. [1]

We are preaching nothing if it is not of Christ. We are living for nothing, if it is not for Christ.

On the other hand, some people can totally over-emphasize it in a way that the cross is cheapened. I find that the idea of the cross is cheapened when people use it merely as a word, not as a invasive, weighty act that is concurrent with all of your life. People throw around the words “cross” and the “resurrection” with much too ease and care, that it loses its sharpness and offense after a time. Perhaps, it is intentional to not make the Gospel a less painful cross to bear, but it is avoiding the basic commands of Christ. Moreover, what comfort there is in the burdens we carry daily is lost, because we forget that Christ would carry his own cross to death. I think we can speak so much about the cross that we make it something taken lightly–there is a certain flippancy about the way some people would use the word, as if they were not addressing the Most High constantly with every word.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (English Standard Version)

The song that comes to mind is one by a certain Jeremy Camp, where the chorus goes:

“Sing it out to let all the world know
That Jesus saves
Raise a shout to let all the world know
That Jesus saves” (youtube)

The lyrics are undeniably correct, but the song comes across as just repetitive–how, I think Bob DeWaay termed a “7-11″ song, with a chorus of eleven words repeated eleven times. Now that I think of it, the two extremes are somewhat two sides of the same coin. If the cross does not drive us to reverential awe everytime we are speaking of it, then we have failed in our understanding of it. The comprehension of the cross escapes me constantly as I try to contain how much love there is within this act that Jesus accomplished. It is that lack of knowledge of Jesus that leads to these two extremes. The failure to realise that He is neither a weightless Jesus, nor a weighty Jesus that our sins, His love could never cover. It says in Eccelesiates to us:

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2

I think there is some great truth in those words. People often ask, if we were to meet God today, “What question would we ask?”. I am not so sure if we would ever be able to stop being in awe to have time to take out our notebooks from our back pockets and ask questions about creation/evolution. How purely idiotic, I would imagine us to be, to be asking things that utterly pale in comparison to what worship the cross deserves.

I cannot imagine a life without the cross, and though the memory is constantly embedded within our souls, how we show this love is more embodied within what we would do, instead of what we would say. Our life with the cross is marked by the meaningfulness of our worship, not our frequency with which we would proclaim it. 

[1] Spurgeon, Charles. Exposition of Acts 13:13-49. 1904.

[2] I struggle with not pointing fingers at exactly who I’m talking about.

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About JN
I am much afraid because of things that I cannot see must be true.

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