This article was adapted from the late C. Truman Davis, M.D. as recorded in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary. In honor of the Lord Jesus Christ’s “Good Friday” work as a Substitute for you and me, I submit this for your reflection and prayer for living a life that is holy and pleasing to Him.
What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a physical description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.
Every infringement on God’s presence around you affects your life! Whether it is an attack on the comment that Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, makes, or the removal of crosses across the country, “it affects you!”
There are groups trying to remove the Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego erected on behalf of Korean Veterans, the cross in the Mojave Desert and now the Steubenville, Ohio, logo, which has a small cross. An organization called “Freedom from Religion Foundation” FFRF makes the following statement:
“Steubenville is a theocracy and is a Christian city where non-Christians or nonbelievers are not favored citizens. The city may not depict the university chapel and cross because to do so places the city’s imprimatur behind Christianity. The city of Steubenville must not endorse ‘faith’ and church. While we understand that Franciscan University is part of the City, the City may not depict the University chapel and cross because to do so places the City’s imprimatur behind Christianity. This excludes non-Christians and violates the Constitution.”1
Because of the FFRF actions, the cross was removed from the logo.
Is this really significant? After all, it is “government” property and the government is bound to not “promote religion.” Friends, this is an example of Normalcy Bias whereby we think things will not get any worse if we just let this happen. We think, we’ll let this happen, but nothing worse will happen. Should Christians get concerned that organizations are even going to remove crosses from cemeteries? They say they would never do that, but the people of Germany never thought things would get as bad as they did during the 1930s.
The issue is the cross removal, but it’s more than that. It’s an issue of whether we Christians are going to share the love of Jesus Christ’s gospel and see God’s mighty works done in our lives. Is God’s tremendous grace so powerful that it affects your life to tell others? Are you more excited about God’s grace than the multitudinous forms of entertainment?
I would like to make my agenda holding forth a plan to keep every cross standing. I am concerned about that, because every symbol removed is a sign of moral degeneracy in America. However, I’m even more passionate about the gospel spoken to every person in America and appreciate what our Outreach Team is doing to be intentional to follow up with visitors and community friends. Let’s ask God to focus our attention on all the right priorities!
Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
What keeps the Christian’s perspective on target for eternity? The cross. The cross-centered life is the one paradigm that will keep Christians focused on the freedom that exists in this bondage-wrecking world. The very essence of faith is the cross of Christ. It sets us free from bondage of a normal life to living a supernatural life, even one living on earth. Several times he addresses three things that rob the Christian from joy: Subjectivism; Legalism and Condemnation. Each of these pulls the Christian from the cross and takes His joy away. He writes, “We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross.” I also appreciate his discussion on “feelings.” He writes, “We allow our feelings to guide our thinking, and we shouldn’t…that should be left to God’s Word alone.” This direct, easy to read volume will get you back on track to a simple pure devotion to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:3).