The Wonderful Cross

Borrowing the title from Chris Tomlin, Isaac Watts and Michael Smith’s song, the “Wonderful Cross” still remains history’s most memorable figure. On the other hand, “The Cross” someone once said “has become so ordinary that we hardly see it anymore.”

Could this be true, that the cross has become so ordinary? No! I beg to differ. How can an image once shameful enough to bow the proudest heads become ordinary? Would the death of someone near us ever fail to get our attention?

The first century church held the symbol of the cross in high esteem. It meant to them, sacrifice, physical torture, pain, allegiance to Christ and finally death for His sake. Perhaps, the people of this world could agree that, the cross has become so ordinary because, the sect (thus Christians) who profess to believe in Jesus have become ordinary, our senses dulled to unconsciousness by the daily matters of this life.

Even in his own time, the apostle Paul lamented such a blurring of the cross, calling the world to a greater vision: As I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven – Philippians 3:18, 19.

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For those who will ignore the promptings of grace and salvation, the cross can be perceived as foolish or not perceived at all. But it cannot be emptied of Jesus, with his wide open arms, but to those who stand in its goriness and scandal of grace, it is everything.

The cross, not merely a symbol of Christianity or an emblem of one religion in a sea of others, is still a symbol that stands secluded from the others. The totality of His love was spelt clearly on that tree.

James Stewart couldn’t have perceived the triumph on the cross any less in his quote below;
“It is a glorious phrase- ‘He led captivity captive’. The very triumphs of his foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub serve his ends not theirs. They nailed him to a tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet. They gave him a cross, not guessing he would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the city gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up the gates of the universe, to let the king come in. They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy. They thought they had God with his back to the wall, pinned helpless and defeated; they did not know that it was God himself who had tracked them down. He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
The cross still conquers the hearts of the vilest of sinners. A daily focus on its passion, transforms the Christian into conforming to the exact image of Jesus. May I conclude the wonders on the cross with the powerful lyrics of the song “The Wonderful Cross”

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“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

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

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

By: David Addai Mensah

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