I recently celebrated my birthday–praise the Lord! Before the special day, my husband asked what I would like for a gift. At first I couldn’t think of anything but then a thought came to mind–a cross necklace. I had resisted either purchasing or requesting a cross necklace before but this year I felt differently. Why had I declined one in the past? Perhaps it was because I had seen how people diminished and trivalized this symbol of unconditional love and sacrifice.
I think crosses reflect people’s personalities and style preferences. They come in a variety of sizes and metals–some are even fashioned from trees found in the Holy Land. Some crosses are plain and simple; others are encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones–bejeweled and dazzling. But do people really understand the significance of the Cross? Do they full know what wearing one says about “who and whose” they are?
For me, wearing the Cross is more than donning a “trendy accessory.” For me, it is an expression of love and commitment to the Lover of my soul–to my Beloved. Remember when you would wear your boyfriend’s class ring on a chain around your neck. And if it got real serious, you might receive a locket (heart-shaped) to wear as evidence of his affection. It is now Christ who reigns on the throne of our heart (Ephesians 3:17). The Cross represents the greatest gift we could ever receive–eternal life, freedom from the bondage of sin, peace with God–all purchased with the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Cross invites “whosoever will” to newness of life (Rom. 6:4) and power to live victoriously. The Cross transforms.
Ask yourself these questions next time your put on your cross.
1. Are you more careful with your language that day?
2. Are you especially patient and kind to rude people you encounter that day?
3. Do you find yourself listening to more praise music in your car that day?
4. Do you find yourself promising to pray for those who share their problems that day?
5. Do you have to adjust your clothing to match your jewelry that day? Too short? Too revealing?
If you answered yes to any of these question, you might want to read Ephesians 4:23-32 and its companion scripture Colossians 3:10-14. As believers in Christ, our behavior should be guided by more than a piece of jewelry. Our behavior is motivated by our love for the One who died on the Cross. I will now wear my cross proudly knowing full well that it is really Christ in me that makes the difference