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The Cross of Christ Answered
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Answers to commonly asked questions about the cross of Christ
Q. Why is the cross such a popular symbol?
A. Jesus was the founder of the most well-known religion in the world, and it is widely known that He died on a cross. That voluntary sacrificial act of immense love paid the price of all humanity’s sins for all time (for all who will accept Him and His ways, not for the stubbornly disobedient). It bought salvation for us. Thus the cross has become a symbol of salvation, of deliverance, of protection, and even of freedom.
Q. Does the cross symbol go back earlier than Christ?
A. It may well do. We see in Genesis 4:15 that a mark was put on Cain when he complained that his punishment was greater than he could bear. Perhaps that was a cross mark on his forehead. We can only speculate, but it was a sign of God’s protection.
Q. Should we wear a cross?
A. One of the commandments warns us not to make idols and bow down to them. Catholic churches contain macabre crosses on which the dead or dying body of a likeness of Jesus hangs. Besides portraying Him as dead or dying (thus portraying Him as helpless) – which He no longer is; He is ALIVE and LIVING! – it violates the second commandment. God says He punishes those who violate this sacred command (Ex 20:4-6). To depict Jesus in such a way defiles His memory, His true image, and gives power to Satan who wanted to see Jesus dead.
There is much empty superstition surrounding the use of a cross. It doesn’t protect you from demons or sickness. Your faith in Jesus does that (Mark 5:34; 10:52; Luke 17:19; 10:19). It doesn’t bring good luck. It doesn’t guarantee success or what you want. A cross should not be worn for such superstitious reasons.
If it is part of church custom to wear a cross embroidered on ecclesiastical garments, you need to take a deeper look at why that is. Jesus did not give any such commandment. Almost without exception, such clerical clothing is designed to psychologically elevate or separate the wearer from the one who sees him so dressed. Such customs have their origins in the pagan priesthoods of Babylon and false religions, and were designed to set apart the ‘ecclesiastics’ (the priesthood) from the ‘laity’ (members / ordinary folks). This perpetuated an élitist system that is not biblical. We are ALL priests now under the New Covenant (1 Pet 2:4).
A small cross on a necklace or ear-ring is not necessarily an idol, but it can be, depending upon why you wear it. It has become a very popular fashion accessory, a symbol of the wearer’s vanity. So if you want to wear one, it is your choice but you should examine your motives for doing so.
Q. Didn’t Jesus say we are to take up our cross?
A. Yes, but He didn’t mean literally. He meant figuratively.
The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected [by the religious leaders] (Luke 9:22, NIV).
Then He says to you:
If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me (v 23).
Taking up your cross depicts metaphorically your willingness to face death for Jesus’ sake. It symbolises the death to self that you are to accept each day of your life. Notice Paul:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live... (Gal 2:20, NIV).
Paul didn’t mean literally. He went on...
But Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20, NIV).
In our booklet The Mark of a True Christian, this statement appears underneath the above text: "When Christ lives in you, and His faith is activated, your selfish desires and thoughts will always take second place to His. Complete submission to the will of God will stimulate you to make any sacrifice that is necessary" (p 27).
Further Reading: The Mark of a TRUE Christian. Click Here to Order!
Q. Why do you have a cross in your front garden?
A. At the front of our house, we have a conifer bush that we have trained and clipped into the shape of a cross. It is not an idol. We do not use it in worship. It is merely a symbol.
It sends an unspoken message to everyone who passes by that we are Christians. Also, painted in large red letters on the front wall of our garage we have the words "JESUS RAISES THE DEAD!" Both of these symbols – the cross and the wording – we were told through prophetic words in 1994 to create. Jesus told us to put them there.
When we went to a garden centre to find a suitable small shrub that we could train into the shape of a cross (a very unnatural shape for a bush) amazingly there I saw a small conifer with two lateral branches exactly opposite each other (unusual, because they are usually staggered). We brought that home and planted it. Richard then saw an angel standing by it, protecting it. (A few weeks after planting it, someone came after midnight and tried to pull it out – such was their satanic hatred for what it depicts! They didn’t succeed.) Richard also was given a vision of what it would look like many years later. Over the 11 years since, it has been regularly clipped, and has grown into the shape he saw in that vision.
But that cross is not an idol. It is not used in worship. It is a sign to outsiders of what we stand for. It is a reminder to them.
At the same time, we were also told (by God through a prophetic word) to paint a large red cross diagonally on the ceiling of the largest room of our house. We did. It is about 17-20 feet long! That also is a reminder. Every person who sees it is reminded of the huge price Jesus paid for you and for me in His blood (Col 1:20). We are reminded also that we are to follow His example of self-sacrifice (Phil 2:1-8).
Further Reading: The Missing Dimension In Christian Living. Click Here to Order!
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