Driving home from Glasgow one day I heard the following on my car radio. It's something you also may have heard already as it was certainly an eye-opening incident...
Whilst visiting a museum a lady went into their shop to buy a
necklace for her little girl. Choosing a silver cross the mother asked for...
'one without the wee man please.'
Now I appreciate that some who have already heard this story consider it amusing, but I'd have to admit to have been genuinely shocked and appalled to think that a grown woman in this day and age would be so clearly unaware as to the identity of the 'wee man'.
Of course down through the years countless girls and ladies have worn a cross round their neck... though I do wonder if, like the lady in this story, many don't really understand what the cross actually represents. No doubt some will recognise its religious significance, others may see it as some form of lucky charm, whilst no doubt an increasing number just consider it a piece of costume jewellery, especially in our ever-increasing secular society.
A SYMBOL OF SHAME
I do wonder if so many would be so keen to wear a cross if they realised that the original cross... the Cross of Calvary... was far from an attractive symbol. Instead it was a place of shame, of disgrace, of agony, of anguish and untold suffering. And yet its significance for mankind is beyond compare. 'But why?' You may ask.
A SYMBOL OF VICTORY
Well, because the Cross of Calvary saw the greatest act of love the world has ever known. God in the form of man taking the punishment that we deserve and opening the 'way of salvation' to all who will repent and believe. Because the Cross wasn't the end, it was only the beginning, not a defeat, but the greatest victory in human history. Resurrected to life Christ Jesus now offers the ONLY way by which we can be set right with God the Father...
'I am the way and the truth and the life.
No-one comes to the Father except through me.'
A SYMBOL OF POWER
But there's another way in which the Cross could have significance for us all. Over the years physicists have struggled to fully understand the origins and character of nuclear force. In other words, and in layman's language, what it is that binds 'stuff' together. Well the Bible tells us that the Christ Jesus not only created the world, He also sustains it...
'...all things were created by Him... He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.'
But how can this be explained in practical, scientific terms? Well back in 1929 the protein molecule 'Laminin' was discovered, the principal characteristic of which is 'adhesion'. Now according to Wikipedia it's... ' an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every tissue of an organism.' And what's more, there are those who claim that when viewed under an electro-microscope its structure can resemble the shape of a cross. Well that's no doubt a fascinating and attractive association. But let's remember, it wasn't the
'Cross' of Calvary that's said in Scripture to hold things together... it's the Lord Himself...
'The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God's glory... sustaining all
things by his powerful word.'
So there you have it... the significance of the Cross. Yet sadly misunderstood by so many.