Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A pretty cross?

For some time now, I've wanted a cross necklace. It's a desire that wavers somewhat, especially when I consider certain rock stars and other unredeemed types wear crosses as jewelry, entirely for different reasons than I. Not that I would be mistaken for a rock star, or an artist of any type, but you understand. Anyway, I was perusing a catalog from a jeweler I really like, but not really finding what I wanted. (of course, I didn't really know what it was I wanted, which made the process all that more difficult) Finally, I put the catalog down and told my husband I couldn't find a "pretty cross."

Talk about a contradiction in terms! Immediately I was struck by the incongruity of what I was saying. A "pretty" cross? As if there were such a thing? That's like saying a pretty electric chair or a pretty hangman's noose.

There's nothing pretty about the cross. On it my Savior died a horrible death, suffering unimaginable pain. Far from being pretty, the cross of our salvation was bloody and brutal.

We don't like to think of it in those terms. We rather like the cleaned up, sterling silver version. If we are honest, we are just a little uncomfortable with the pain and the gore and the humiliation. I know I am. I've read plenty of graphic descriptions and sometimes I'd just rather not think about it.

But I think in making our crosses pretty--and here I am speaking not of our jewelry so to speak, but of our tendency to minimize the suffering of Christ in order to appease our distaste for blood and pain--in doing so, we minimize the price paid for our redemption, ultimately minimizing the depth of our sin and the greatness of God's grace. Jesus, the Holy sinless Lamb of God, died on the cross, poured out His blood as an offering, and became sin so we--those who belong to Him--might be the righteousness of God. It wasn't pretty. It was horrible and it was unimaginable.

It is the horror of the cross that reminds us of the depth of His love. He paid it all. All to Him I owe.


  1. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.

    Glory to God!

  2. Most people I know went and watched The Passion of The Christ. I must say, it left a horrible taste in my mouth. And I said to my hubby - I NEVER want to watch that again. It's enough for me to know my Saviour did that to save me. And yet, now that I've read your post, you have stuck a bee in my bonnet - one that reminds me that His death was so ugly, because sin is so ugly. A painless passing one Friday afternoon would not have been sufficient to compensate for the horrible-ness of sin. Thanks for a really thought-provoking post! Again! :o)

  3. I want to always be amazed and thankful for what my Savior sacrificed for my ugly sin. Thanks for sharing Lisa.

  4. Excellent post! I never want to "minimize the greatness of His grace" or the "depth of my own sin".

  5. Lisa, I think this is the best post you have written (that I have read). All I can do after reading that is cry out "Thank you Jesus for loving us that much".

  6. Excellent post! You're right, the cross is not pretty, but it does leave me in awe.

  7. Excellent words, Lisa!


  8. I am ashamed of the cross and thus won't wear one.
    I enjoyed your post.

  9. I was recently saved about six months ago and ever since my life has changed. It has only been a short time but the Lord has helped to heal me mind, body, and soul. Now when I look upon my past my feelings of sorrow and abandonment are only small and sometimes fleeting. I have grown into a new person and it is all because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I am so thank that he died for my sins so that I can be born again. Thank you for reminding me of that and reminding me of just how much God loves us.