Going beyond the cross
What comes to mind when you think about the cross? Do you think of it as an accessory worn by the pious and non-pious alike? Perhaps you see it as a symbol of irony, worn and tattooed by celebrities whose lifestyles do anything but reflect the life of Christ.
But ask a Roman and you might get an involuntary shudder before an answer. After all, it is a form of torture and execution so horrendous that the Roman Empire prohibited this punishment from being meted out on Roman citizens. Crucifixion was reserved for only the worst of the slaves or enemies of the empire.
Yet, that’s not how many believers view the cross today.
1. The resurrection transformed the cross from a symbol of pain and torture to a symbol of hope
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV)
2. The resurrection transformed the tomb into a womb
After He died on the cross, Jesus was buried in a tomb. He entered the tomb dead but came out alive!
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,” Luke 24:1-6 (ESV)
3. The resurrection transforms us
The cross means that our life of pain can turn into a life of hope. The tomb shows us that our old self and ways can be buried and we can start over with a new life.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:4-5 (ESV)
What does the death, burial and resurrection mean to us today? If you would like to learn more about how you can apply the death, burial and resurrection in your life in a way that transforms you, please consider Unlocking the Bible.