Jesus bore the CROSS for us
John 19:17 -
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
In the book of John it is recorded as Jesus bore His CROSS and went forth to be crucified at Golgotha a small hill top which was round in shape reminding one of a human head. But in the book of Matthew it is recorded that Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry the crucifix of Jesus to the place He was crucified.
Both of these recordings are perfect.
Some of us look at the CROSS and others at the crucifix; you may be wondering why I am using the word CROSS and the word crucifix as two different words.
The Greek word used here is 'stauros' referred to the instrument used for the most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were close neighbours of the Israelites and closely influenced their history.
The word 'cross' comes from the Latin word 'crux'. The Latin Church had / has four different forms of the cross:
1) Crux immissa - the one we mostly associate with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
2) Crux commissa - also called 'Saint Anthony's Cross' and looks like the alphabet 'T'.
3) Greek cross - which had cross beams of equal lengths like the '+' sign.
4) Crux decussate - also called 'Saint Andrew's Cross' and looks like the 'X' sign.
Since the original crucifix was not maintained there were many debates on the crucifix of Jesus. No doubt of late archaeological findings have confirmed many things in detail regarding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The Greek word 'stauros' comes from the root word 'histemi' which means 'to cause' or 'to stand'.
There are two kinds of people who look at the crucifix of Jesus one who look at the physical aspect and the other at the purpose. Matthew recorded the historical aspect and correctly put that the physical crucifix was carried on the way by Simon of Cyrene, but John who literately wrote the autobiography of Jesus from Jesus' own mouth wrote not of the physical crucifix but the purpose or cause which Jesus took on Himself and which He Himself carried.
People, who look at the historical figure Jesus, give more importance to the symbol and those who look at Jesus Christ as Saviour, give more importance to the Cause of Jesus Christ. Paul in all his letters very clearly talks of not of the crucifix but of the Cause of Christ whenever he used the word 'stauros'. Only in one place in his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 2:14) he talks of the Cause along with the physical aspects of the crucifix.
A crucifix needs to be respected but a Christian who makes it a religious object looks at Jesus more as a historic character and loses on knowing Him as their Lord and Saviour. During the time of the Apostles they never gave much importance to the physical crucifix but more to the purpose of the death and resurrection of Christ and that's the first foundation of baptism. Paul therefore went to the point to record that he gave more importance to build the foundation by preaching the Cross then to perform the ceremony of baptism, not that he did not do it.
Peter in his letter does not even used importance to the symbol and instead uses the word 'tree' for the crucifix of Jesus. In one way confirming that Jesus was crucified on a wooden crucifix and not an iron crucifix which the Romans were famous for using during those times.
In the Old Testament the symbol of victory was the Ark of Covenant and in the New Testament is the CROSS of Jesus Christ. Lord made the Ark to be lost like He did to the body of Moses, but after He gave us His Son and Spirit He also gave us the choice to choose between the symbol and the purpose.
What do you carry?
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, You are the Word which came down and becoming flesh dwelled among us. The flesh of man is corrupt but You came as perfect flesh and remained perfect. The knowledge of You changes us brings us unto perfection and eternal life. Lord, You said the days will come when man will worship in Spirit and Truth. Holy Spirit, reveal the Truth unto your people and help them bring victory over their flesh and become overcomers...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.
33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Ephesians 2:16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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