Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.

John 3:14 (NIV)

One of the most amazing things to me when I read my Bible is that God will sometimes bring other issues to mind. This is, of course, the work of the Holy Spirit. For years I have thought about the relationship of the Cross in the life of the Christian. I have heard songs about the Cross; its power to heal, deliver and set free. I have heard people say things such as, “Take it to the Cross” and I have wondered. Has the Cross become something of an idol to people?

In the Old Testament, we read of devices such as the Urim, Thummim, and ephod that were either worn or used by the priest to determine God’s will and communicate with Him. We also know that people communicated with God through prayer and visions. When we read of the veil being torn upon the death of Jesus we understand this to mean that there’s no longer a veil separating us from God (Matthew 27:51). We can all go to Him on our own without the need for an earthly high priest as was the custom before Jesus. When we read the Bible we also read about myriad devices that were used for divination. From livers to bones there were many such objects. As there are today.

The cross that Jesus died on, however, is nothing more than an instrument upon which He died. When the people of Israel were grumbling and complaining against God and He sent serpents among them as punishment, Moses, at God’s command, raised up a bronze snake for the people to look upon and be healed when they were bitten (Numbers 21:9). This bronze snake became an object of worship and was later destroyed by Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4). The people had corrupted the original purpose of the snake into something vile and detestable to the Lord. The bronze snake never healed anyone. It was the faith of the people who believed that God would heal them when they looked at it.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking to the Cross and thinking of Jesus. However, we must be on guard against moving away from thinking about Jesus and thinking only of the cross as some object of power. Although I rarely like to look to the world for examples I am reminded of a movie I saw many years ago that I think depicts the difference between faith and objects.

In this clip, we see the difference between someone who sees the Cross as a symbol of power versus someone who believes in the One who was crucified upon it. A Biblical example might be the Seven sons of Sceva here in Acts.

Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

Acts 19:14-16 (NIV)

I don’t know about you but part of me can hear Chris Sarandon saying to these boys, “You have to faith in Jesus to have power over me.”

The Cross, symbols of fish, your bumper stickers, or anything else has no power except for the power that you give to it and that power isn’t from God. Neither does going to church nor wearing a shirt that says, “I love Jesus” mean that you are saved. The transformation takes place in our hearts and in our minds, so be alert my friends, and remember from where your help comes.

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.