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The Comfortable Cross (4 of 6)
Series: Not A Fan
1 Corinthians 1:18-23
OPEN: Clarence Jordan, author of the ''Cotton Patch'' New Testament was getting a red-carpet tour of another preacher's church. With pride the minister pointed to the rich, imported pews and luxurious decorations. As they stepped outside, darkness was falling, and a spotlight shone on a huge cross atop the steeple.
''That cross alone cost us ten thousand dollars,'' the minister said with a satisfied smile.
Jordan looked up at the cross and said:
''You got cheated. Times were when Christians could get them for free.''
Time was you could get a cross for free.
But most people back then didn't want one.
Crosses back then were the way Romans executed criminals.
These days we wear crosses as jewelry.
Crosses decorate the walls of our homes.
Churches have embedded them into their stain glass windows and they place them on spires that advertise to the world that this is a church.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that.
Using crosses in this way is an excellent way to declare to the world who we belong to and what we believe, But using crosses so freely tends to make us forget what crosses were all about.
Crosses were instruments of death.
It was THE MOST horrid way to die ever conceived by man.
Some people have compared the Cross of Christ to our modern day executions by electric chairs. But people who've died in electric chairs generally died in a matter of moments. By contrast, those who hung on crosses often slowly died over hours or even days.
Imagine if you will, wearing a an electric chair for pendant. Or decorating your house with pictures and plaques showing an attractive electric chair. Or putting an electric chair on the spire of a church building.
How appealing would that be do you think?
The cross was an instrument of death - that's how criminals died.
And yet Jesus said take up your cross daily and follow me.
You know what Jesus was saying? ...
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