Crossless Christianity

Carlo Mendoza 

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."  I Corinthians 1:17-18

The other week, as I was exiting the drive-thru of a local fast food restaurant, I noticed something was missing. No, it had nothing to do with my meal order, but rather a cross made of three nails, which was hanging from my rearview mirror, was no longer there! At first, I thought it must have somehow fallen off due to the extreme heat, so I carefully searched the floor of my car, but to no avail.

As I reexamined the twine rope from which the cross used to hang, upon further inspection, I came to the conclusion that it was intentionally severed. To be quite honest, I was both dumbfounded and disturbed that someone would have the audacity to do such a thing. However, as I began to dwell upon the incident, what bothered me even more than a missing cross in my car, was a missing cross in my faith.

I began to ponder about the implications of a “crossless” Christianity. The phrase itself would qualify as an oxymoron since Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Furthermore, if there was no crucified Christ, that would mean there is no resurrected Christ either. In fact, Paul speaks of this very thing:

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins…If in Christ we have hope in this life only,we are of all people most to be pitied."  I Corinthians 15:17, 19

I’m not sure why the person chose to cut the cross off from my rearview mirror. If their motivation stemmed from being offended by what the cross represents; that forgiveness for our sinfulness required the very death of God the Son, the crucifixion of the Son of God. Or whether they were so moved by the sacrificial love demonstrated by Jesus on the cross, that like me, this symbol would serve as a daily reminder to live for Him who died for us and also to bring to remembrance, both God’s righteous justice and God’s gracious love.

So where do you stand when it comes to “the word of the cross”? There are really only two positions you can take. Either the message of the good news of Jesus Christ is mere foolishness to you, which means you are in grave danger of facing eternal death, or you have been enlightened to the glorious gospel, having been saved both from God and by God!

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless Your name – Tomlin

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