Romans 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
Recently we enjoyed the beauty of a full moon. I never cease to enjoy seeing one particularly when it first comes up over the horizon. But the full moon never fails to tap into a much richer vein of thought within me. For years when I’ve seen it, I’ve thought of my son John and his wife Fabi and their family in Brazil and the work they were doing. Even though they are now here, I still think of them.
One of the most common symbols of Christianity is the cross. Does seeing one make you think of church like golden arches makes one think of McDonald’s? Have you given thought to what exactly the cross represents? Or just what do you think of when you see one? Is it merely a symbol that over time has come to represent Christianity?
A rainbow is God’s sign to Noah – and to us – that He will never flood the earth again. It is a symbol representing a promise. But the cross represents so much more. A vital key to understanding this is the difference between ‘sins’ and ‘sin’. God made provision for the forgiveness of sins in both the Old and New Testaments. Forgiveness always involved the shedding of blood. In the Old Testament there was the blood of lambs and goats that had to be redone every year. In the New Testament we have the shed blood of Jesus once and for all to provide for the forgiveness of sins.
But the power of sin was and is another thing entirely. Prior to Jesus, the sins of God’s people could be forgiven but there was still the power of sin working in them. God’s plan in Jesus was to deal with this wretched power of sin that was the result of Adams’ fall. The cross represents His love gift through Jesus by which the power of sin was broken.
Through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection we are able to be born-again – to become new creatures in Christ Jesus – freed from the old sin nature – no longer slaves to sin – able to become children of God! This is what faith in Jesus brings us – a life that is radically changed! May we rejoice in this whenever we see a cross.