Saturday, March 28, 2009


Without question, history’s most shocking transformation of something loathsome and terrible into something beautiful and beloved is THE CROSS.

The cross was one of the most painful implements of torture and execution ever devised by evil men. As awful as gallows are, they at least bring death quickly and with a minimum of suffering. The cross on the other hand purposefully delayed death in order to extend and maximize suffering.

To die on a cross was the ultimate horror, the ultimate disgrace, the ultimate failure.

But today the cross has become the most treasured religious symbol in the world. Covered with gold, the cross is worn as decorative jewelry on a necklace or bracelet. The cross is a frequent subject of artists, an ever-present architectural emblem, the most revered religious icon, and a favored theme of poets and musicians.

Imagine singing about cherishing the gallows, or clinging to an electric chair. Imagine wearing a gold-plated noose around one’s neck as jewelry, or of having a miniature gallows decorating your fireplace mantle.

Yet millions of people nostalgically sing about “loving [and] cherishing the old rugged cross,” of the “wondrous attraction [and] beauty” it holds for them, and pledge always to “cling to it.”

The astonishing transformation of the cross from something unspeakably ugly to something fantastically beautiful is a metaphor for what Jesus does in the life of those who believe and follow Him. He transforms us! He takes the ugliness of our sin and transforms us into a brand new people, not yet perfected, but irresistably moving down the path of becoming more and more like Jesus in what we think and say and do.

No comments: