What is the cross to you? When one speaks of the cross of Jesus, what images does this call to mind? Humankind uses images to bring our thoughts into focus. Without images, we would have no language and no means of storing experiences. In religion, some are concerned that images might come to be idols, and that is certainly a possibility. However, awareness that good can become bad if improperly used does not negate the fact that we cannot function without images — whether they are tangible or only visualized mentally.

What does all this have to do with the cross? Everything!

The cross is the focal point of our connection to God. If everything we have in the history of God's dealing with His creation had a connecting line to one image, ultimately, that image would be the cross (2 Corinthians 1:19-20). From the promises given from the time of the fall in the Garden of Eden to the teachings of the early church and the prophecies of the Eternal Kingdom, the cross stands central. It is God's new rainbow shining brightly to a storm-tossed, fearful and turbulent world. As the rainbow is a symbol of God's promise of safety from destruction by another great flood, the cross is His promise of safety from the ferocious storms of Satan.

The danger is not in the symbol. The danger is in failing to see the reality which is only represented by the symbol. The sacrificial love of God in Christ is the reality of the cross. Holding to the symbol in time of distress will do nothing for our safety, but holding to the reality will sooth our troubled spirits and heal our sin sick souls.

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2 NASB).

But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).

The danger is in failing to see the reality.