What Does the Cross Mean and Why Is It Significant in Our Faith Walk?
Written by Christi Given | July 30, 2018
Many people associate Christianity with the symbol of the cross. The cross was one of the most horrific ways a person could pass on from this life because it was a very brutal experience, and was actually for the worst criminals back in biblical times. People who were executed on the cross were tormented and faced harsh punishment for major crimes. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was considered guiltless and without fault, except for the charge of “blasphemy,” according to some of the religious leaders. The crowds screamed “Crucify him!” over the murdered Barabbas, who was a well-known thief and problem maker in the town.
So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. (Matthew 27:17-18)
Many people wear crosses as a reminder of the price that Jesus paid in dying for our sins so that we could live. Our Messiah traded our place to pay the cost of death and rose from the grave overcoming the curse and redeeming it with his blood and power of the Holy Spirit. Now, after being believers, we can receive the gift of salvation through faith in Christ as God’s only son to obtain salvation (to salvage, save, spare) from eternal separation from God the Father. We deserved a harsh judgement and punishment, but God stepped in himself and sent himself as the Son of God, Yeshua Hamashiach, to die as the final sacrificial lamb.
This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. (2 Timothy 2:11)
Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Back in the Old Testament and in former Jewish customs, they traditionally would bring a lamb, goat or dove as an offering to the Lord and kill the animal as a price for the sin. The better the lamb (spotless, more expensive offering), the more it was approved by the high priest. Jesus Christ stepped in as our high priest, the final lamb of God to shed his blood (John 1:29-30). We know that without blood, there is no life in our bodies.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)
In the Old Covenant (first half of the Bible, before Jesus the messiah came), we learn that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. The blood covers the doorpost of our lives, much like Passover in the Torah. We know that the blood was posted at the top of the houses (dwelling places) of the believers’ doors, so that the “death angel” would “pass over” it and spare that household.
The Bible is so deep in the connection of the hundreds of fulfilled prophesies between the Old and New Testament. Many people in the Bible are foreshadows of the coming messiah. For example, Isaac is a picture of Christ being offered on the altar by Abraham. Noah spared his family from the flood of destruction and death by building an ark that would carry them through the storm into new life and land. God’s Word is so powerful and true.
As a baby Christian or new believer, you may have a lot of questions, and that is okay! We all have questions, no matter how long we’ve been born again and have been following our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask God for wisdom and he will give it generously, and His Word tells us all we need to know about our faith. The Bible is like our road map; think of it as “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,” as some have called it.
The main reason we need God’s Word is that guides us and is like a love letter to us, and the cross is the pinnacle of salvation. The cross was where our savior demonstrated his ultimate love for us by laying his precious, innocent life for us. God loves us so much that he came to redeem us from darkness by the birth of a Holy son of a Virgin. He is the only way to the one true God (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Yeshua is the door, the path, the gate to eternal life.
Understanding the power of the cross and shed blood of Jesus for our sins is why we take communion. We honor the body of our Lord with the bread and the juice (representing the body and the blood). We must honor and treat it as sacred. We must “do this in remembrance” as often as we are able. Let us give thanks for what our Heavenly Father has given us. He gives us chance after chance to repent, to change our way, to turn from sin, and allows us to walk with him and imitate him.
I pray this blesses you and that God speaks to you through your time of fellowship in the word of God (the Holy Bible), and that He speaks to you in prayer. I also hope that you spend time soaking in His Presence in worship and realize how much Jesus loves you. God is so in love with you he died and rose again for you to betroth you forever. Jesus is a picture of the bridegroom, and we, the church, are His bride. There is no deeper love than the love of God for his children and people. Amen?
PI Girls, comment below with any prayer requests.
If you have further questions about salvation, the cross, why Jesus had to die and rise again, what being born again means, etc., please message me: facebook.com/christigiven.