So, here are two questions to contemplate; what do you believe in and what symbol represents it? You may question what this illustration has to do with anything but stay with me until the end. The bow tie on a vehicle years ago meant you identified with a particular family, the Chevrolet family. This was a large family that had/has a very large impact on our nation and, yes, they had their opponents. The Ford family was/is also a very large family, and they rally around the big blue oval. Both families, both communities, were and still are very brand loyal and have a very distinct culture within the domestic scene. This is but one example of symbolism in our society and I am sure you can come up with literally thousands of other examples because we all rally behind a symbol as a part of our need to belong to a specific community. These symbols can change over time such as the Canadian flag and it does take time to get used to the change but once we accept the symbol as part of the ethos, it becomes the image of the culture.
Consider this, when Michael Jackson hit it big, the Jackson nation started wearing one white glove, when the Beatles were all the rage, Beatlemaniacs started wearing their hair just like them. The world today knows the swastika as a symbol of death and war when at one time is was actually a symbol of spiritual well-being for the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for millennia. So let us think about the cross for a moment. Before the death of Christ on the cross, it symbolized a cruel and painful death. There were many crosses, the “X” cross, the pole, the “T” cross but I can guarantee that not a single follower of Christ wore the symbol of death around their necks as jewelry. They followed the Way, identified as His family through word and deed. They led with their hearts, not with spears and swords. Scholars feel that it was not until the 4th century that the Christian nation actually adopted the cross as the symbol of the faith family. So, here is the question; why does the Christian nation wear the symbol of death, method of death for their Saviour, around their neck? Why is it a symbol on their churches and in their sanctuaries?
The cross is a symbol of hope, the sign of a promise fulfilled. By His death and resurrection, we have a hope of life eternal through His sacrifice. The empty cross is a symbol of His promise fulfilled, death has no hold over Him and through Him we are saved.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. Isa 53:10-12 NLT
This Sunday, we take a look at the symbolism found during this season of forgiveness and celebrate His love for us all in the lead up to Palm Sunday. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
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