Take Your Best Shot: The Cross Remains

As we all watched the news of Notre Dame Cathedral burning on April 15, 2019, many saw it as a symbol of the demise of Christianity in our modern culture.

A new roster of moral values has crowded Christian virtues to the periphery. Worshipping creation has replaced worshipping the Creator. People have elevated the worth of animals while continually devaluing human life created in the image of God.

Likewise, the church has struggled to have its voice heard in the marketplace of ideas. Covid forced people to prioritize what really mattered in their lives, and one event that slipped to the bottom of the list was church attendance. Where, for years, people continued at least to tip their hats to the importance of faith, the pandemic finally gave them the excuse they’d always been looking for to stay home and binge-watch Netflix.

The world and its values lean more now toward hell than heaven. Christianity, like Notre Dame, appears to be burning down.

But if you’re looking for symbolism as to the true state of the Christian faith, you should look past that fire and into the cathedral itself. There you would have found a gold cross still standing strong, untouched by the inferno around it.

Some people tried to say the gold cross’s endurance that day was a miracle. But skeptics were quick to point out that the melting point of gold is over 1000 degrees celsius, while wood burns at 600. So those wishing to make that cross some holy relic need to go back to chemistry class.

But as symbolism goes, Notre Dame’s cross is actually a valid reminder. It’s a perfect picture of what matters after all the pomp and pageantry of religious ceremony are melted away. All the greatness and grandeur of spiritual artifice is just kindling in the true light of the cross.

If you’re worried about the future of Christianity, don’t bother. You might as well be worried about tomorrow’s sunrise!

Because when everything else in this world burns away, the cross remains!

Though men distract from it with the trappings of their whitewashed goodness…

Though they add the ornamentation of sentimentality to distract from the blood and sacrifice…

Though the mathematician analyzes it as merely the intersection of two lines…

Though intellectuals discount it as too exclusive and mythological…

Though a million men and women walk past it ignoring its call…

…the Cross remains!

The cross of Christ is a comfort to every true Christian because for us, it means…

Though friends forsake us…

Though loved ones leave us…

Though health fails us…

Though finances fall away…

Though the foundation of our security shakes beneath us, we are still part of an unshakable kingdom!

On a cross like that 2000 years ago, a criminal who hung next to Jesus finished out the day walking the streets of that Kingdom. It was a place he had no right to enter. But because of the Cross and Jesus’ death, he is now a permanent resident there. And no recent whim of societal fancy can ever change that fact or dilute that Cross’s power to save even today.

That Cross is a reminder that when this world has stolen everything from you that it can…when you lose it all, even when you think you’ll lose your mind, there is still one thing that can never be lost nor taken from you.

When this very world itself finally melts away, never fear, child of God! Though the fires of hell come against it, don’t worry—the gold in this Cross has already been through the fire!

The Cross Remains!

So all reports of the death of Christianity have been greatly exaggerated. When He faced death itself, the Occupant of that Cross busted loose from his tomb and reigns today as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Go ahead, World! Take your best shot. Others have tried and now occupy that trash heap of history.

When the earth itself finally melts into merely a memory, the Cross still remains!

-Photo by Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via Reuters

Dave Gipson
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