Grace Communion Church – The Christian Cross

Recently the European court upheld the right of a Christian to wear a cross at work. Why is the cross important for Christians?
During the second world war as the allied armies were advancing through France, a small rural village became the front line. During a few days of fierce fighting every building was either damaged or destroyed as both armies pounded the village with tanks and artillery.
As the front line moved away from the village it became an important staging post for men and supplies going to and from the front line.
Somehow the tall, old cross in the centre of the village had remained intact and undamaged.
The first thing the allied soldiers did was paint the name of the village on the arms of the cross so everyone knew where they were. They then discovered the arms of the cross pointed exactly north and south so they painted a large N and S at the end of each arm, so everyone knew which direction to go in. Finally to set up a communications centre they hung cables from the cross so the traffic could flow freely up and down the road.
Without realizing it, the soldiers had shown three important aspects of the cross for Christians.
First the cross identifies where we are, second it points us in the right direction and third it restores communication with God.
So how does the cross tell us where we are? It reminds us of the supreme and unique sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Christ’s death on the cross was for all humanity, not just for Christians. But Christians recognize that sacrifice as being for them individually now. In time all humanity will come to recognize that they are included too. Accepting the sacrifice of Christ to pay the penalty for our sins is the foundation of our relationship with God.
The Cross points us in the right direction. We can drift along with our culture, as most people do, or we can follow Christ by striving to live a life of love and sacrifice as Jesus did. Whenever we give time to help another person, by listening to them, by visiting the sick, by offering words of encouragement, by any act of kindness and concern we are going in the right direction. The Cross reminds us that Jesus gave his life for others willingly and joyfully, even though it was a tough and difficult thing to do. In extreme circumstances we may sacrifice our life for another, but our sacrifice is mainly time given to praying for and serving others.
However no one said it would be easy. So what happened on the cross restores our communication with God. We need to keep our line of communication open through prayer and bible study. That gives us the strength and encouragement to keep going in the right direction.
Here are just three reasons why the cross is so important to Christians, but there is more. To gain a full understanding of the meaning of the cross join us for a few weeks at our regular service, every Saturday, starting at 2.00p.m. at the GVWA Hall, Pendas way, Crossgates, Leeds.

Author: Keith Hartrick, Pastor of Grace Communion Crossgates

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