From the Pastor…
We are in the midst of a Lenten Study by Jon Meacham on the Last Seven Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. During one of the recent Zoom gathering, we talked about the image of the cross and the symbolism of the cross for modern believers. How do we “see” this powerful image that was used to kill our Savior?
Professor Donald K. McKim says that “The cross is the central symbol of Christianity. Ever since early Christians began to reflect on the death of Jesus Christ, they knew the three hours when Jesus of Nazareth hung on a Roman cross were decisively important to their eternal salvation and their relationship with God. They found the cross of Christ had the power to change lives forever, through the forgiveness of sins and the new life that comes through the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).”
The centrality of the cross continues for contemporary Christians. We, too, know that what the world saw as foolishness and weakness is really the means to a new way of living that affects completely who we are. No longer are we “into” ourselves. Now we are “in Christ,” as we live “by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Looking at the cross focuses us on the core of our beliefs about what God has done in Jesus Christ. The New Testament presents a range of images to describe what happened on the cross. Considering what the cross means theologically and personally is vitally important for us as Christians in the church.
With the apostle Paul, “we proclaim Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23)! May we remember the cross not as jewelry or a decorative item in our homes, but as the central reminder of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection!
Rev. Dr. Philip W. Oehler, Sr.