Sunday, March 20, 2016
The Wooden Cross
Some church scholars are convinced there are pieces of what is called "The True Cross" still around for people to see. "The True Cross" is not just any cross from antiquity, but the one upon which the Prince of Glory was crucified. Does such wood actually exist? Put me in the category of the skeptic. Actually, I am not sure it really matters as far as my faith in Christ is concerned. It is cemented by the love and grace and mercy of God which has been revealed to me through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Though there is some tradition which argues that the cross of Jesus was hidden lest the disciples of Jesus find it, it seems more likely that the cross of Jesus was used again and again for the execution of others. Why waste a perfectly good cross just because a rebellious religious leader died on it? Surely, such would be thinking of the Roman authorities. There is no scriptural reason for the cross of Jesus being one never used or ever used again. For the people who used it for un-holy purpose, it was just a means of getting rid of Jesus and other troublemakers.
Certainly, this is a week when the cross of Jesus looms large before us. While none of us are in that small crowd of people who can actually witness to seeing it standing physically before us, all of us who trust in Christ know that the cross which was meant to simply be an instrument of death was in God's hand an instrument of salvation for each one of us as well as each one who has shared life on this planet. Faith is not about trust in what can be seen and held in our hands, but trust in what cannot be seen. The writer of Hebrews said it very well when he wrote, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrew 11:1)