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Spring is a good time to reflect on the cross

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Turning hearts toward gratitude

By George Smith

The cross is the most conspicuous symbol in Christianity. Churches are built in the shape of a cross. Crosses are carved on pulpits or pulpits are made in the shape of a cross. Crosses are on some church steeples. We magnify the cross in Christianity. It would mutilate our hymn books and New Testament if we took out every reference to the cross.

Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:14). He could have glorified in many things but he chose the cross. The cross was the most shameful way one could die. It only became glorious after Christ’s death upon the cross. The influence of that cross has become the mightiest power in all the world.

The cross expresses the depth of human sin. We think we know something about sin, but we can never realize the depth of human sin until we see that sin crucified the son of God. Our sin plucked God’s son out of the father’s bosom and brought him down to earth to die on a cruel cross. Sin is no little thing. It is the second biggest thing in the world. The love of God is the only thing bigger.

The cross says there is something wrong with this world. Sin has cursed, warped, blighted and ruined the world in which we live. Medicine is unable to cure sin. Education is unable to teach it the way. Silence cannot eradicate it. Sin killed the Lord of glory. It is a cancer which eats the vitals of humanity. The cross expresses the depth of human sin.

During the days approaching us, we will be tracing the steps of Jesus in his last days on earth. On Palm Sunday, we will think of the cross and next week Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. May these reflections upon our Lord’s experiences cause us to have hearts of gratitude realizing what Jesus endured for us. May they also lead us to rededicate our lives to him, allowing him to live in and through us to accomplish his will. May God use these days for our good and his glory.